I! -it t
. - - • " "
IN A SERIES OF VIEWS, DISPLAYING
THE SCENERY, ARCHITECTURE, AND SOCIAL HABITS,
THAT ANCIENT EMPIRE.
DRAWN, FROM ORIGINAL AND AUTHENTIC SKETCHES, BY
THOMAS ALLOM, ESQ.
WITH HISTORICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE NOTICES BY
THE REV. G. N. WRIGHT, M. A.
1 I S H E R, SO N, & C 0.
NEWGATE STREET, LONDON; RUE ST. HONORE. PARIS.
The histories of all other nations disclose successive revolutions in government, in morals, and in
civilization, — the prostration of thrones, and the dissipation of tribes ; while that of the vasf Empire
of China, extending over ten millions of square miles, and sustaining three hundred and sixty
millions of inhabitants, has enjoyed an uninterrupted perpetuity of political existence for upwards
of four thousand years. This nation has been stationary, while all othershave received an im]
either advancing- towards civilization, or sinking in the on-rolling tide of time.
Wrapt in the dark mantle of idolatry, a population, one-third of the whole amount that anima
the surface of our globe, has remained, from the first unit of recorded duration, "the abject, beaten
slaves" of arbitrary rule. Each subject is an automatic piece of imperial mechanism, to which
the director assigns its specific duty; and by the performance, such excellence is attained, that
Chinese industrial productions have reached the climax of human perfection.
Amongst the celebrated monuments of Cathay, those that have excited the highest astonish-
ment, are its Royal Roads, numerous Canals, immense single-arched Bridges, and pyramidal
Towers ; but, above all, the Great Wall, styled, in the exaggerated manner of the East. " Van-Li-
Tching" (The Wall of Ten Thousand Li), although it only extends half that length, or about
1,500 miles, traversing in its course the highest mountains, crossing the deepest valleys, and
spanning the broadest rivers.
Obstinate adherence to national customs, love of antiquity, and repudiation of intellectual
intercourse with foreigners, have given moral and physical characters to this "teeming population,"
that render their history unique, original, and extraordinary. Their agricultural system is
unequalled, their manufactures the models of other nations, their architecture elaborate and fantasl ic,
and their plans for economizing labour and redeeming time, admirable. The first light of those
three portentous discoveries — printing, gunpowder, and the mariner's compass— discoveries to
which modern times owe all their boasted superiority over the earlier ages of the world— is known
to have emanated from China.
To illustrate the scenery, customs, arts, manufactures, religious ceremonies, and political insti-
tutions of a people so unlike the rest of mankind, so attached to established usages, that they
exemplify the manners of thousands of years back— so jealous of intrusion, that a foreigner has
always been held by them in execration— " It ic labor, hoc opus est." To accomplish this labour,
to perform this work, mental and even physical energies have been here concentrated ; and, that
enterprise, for which the public have given the publishers credit, by unexampled patronage, has
never perhaps been more conspicuous than in this instance.
I laving dwelt in " the land of the cypress and myrtle," Mr. Allo.m's talents were fully matured
for the faithful delineation of Oriental scenery ; and, in many instances, he has so successfully
pictured forth the subject to be illustrated, as to secure a signal triumph for the pencil over the
pen. The exercise of his cultivated mind, however, being now dedicated to Architecture, pro-
fessional ambition must necessarily limit his subsequent labours in this branch of the arts. It is
probable, therefore, that his purely pictorial productions will henceforth only be found in the pub-
lications of the Messrs. Fisher, under whose auspices that avenue was first opened, along which
he passed, with more than common celerity, to the very general applause he so deservedly enjoys.
The manuscript of the appended memoir of Kang-He, the work of the Rev. Mr. GuTZL IFF,
was kindly placed at the disposal of the publishers by the Right Hon. Sir Ai.ix LNBER .Iuiinston :
and a further acknowledgment is also due to Sir GEORGE StAUNTON, But., for permission to copy-
several interesting subjects from his beautiful collection of Chinese Drawings by native artists.
G. N. WRIGHT.
London, Jci.v. 18-13.
LIST OF PLATES.
The Kin-Shan, or Golden Island, on the Yang-Tse-Kiang river . . Vignette a
Lake See-hoo, and Temple of the Thundering Winds, from the Vale of Tombs . . . 8
The Imperial Travelling Palace at the Hoo-Kew-Shan ... ... 14
Harbour of Hong-Kong ..... ...... 17
The Poo-Ta-La, or Great Temple near Zhehol, Tartary . ..... 20
Se-Tseaou-Shan, or " The Western Seared Hills " 22
Tseih-Sing-Yen, or " The Seven-star Mountains " ... ... 24
The Culture and Preparation of Tea .......... 26
The Great Wall of China 29
Bamboo Aqueduct at Hong-Kong .......... 33
Punishment of the Pan-Tze, or Bastinado ......... 35
Temple of Buddha, Canton .... 37
Imperial Palace at Tseaou-Shan ........... 42
Raree Show at Lin-Sin-Choo . . ........ 45
Temple of the Bonzes in the Quang-Yen Rock ...... .49
Military Station near the City of Chokian ......... 53
Feeding Silkworms and Sorting the Cocoons ......... 56
The Tung-Ting-Shan 60
The Ou-Ma-Too, or " Five Horses' Heads " 63
Facade of the Great Temple, Macao .......... 66
Chapel in the Great Temple, Macao . 68
The European Factories, Canton .... ..... 70
Apartment in a Mandarin's House near Nanking ........ 74
Cat Merchants and Tea Dealers at Tong-Chow-Foo 77
Whampoa, from Dane's Island ........... 80
Theatre at Tien-Sin 82
The lmogene and Andromache passing Bocca Tigris ....... 84
Rice Sellers at the Military Station of Tong-Chang-Foo ...... 87
British Encampment on Irgao-Shan, Chusan ......... 89
Capture of Ting-Hai, Chusan 91
Dinner Party at a Mandarin's House .......... 93
House of a Chinese Merchant, Canton .......... 95
LIFE OF KANG-HE,
EMPEROR OF CHINA.
In the seventeenth century, and at the beginning of the eighteenth, there lived three
great princes, who ruled over three large nations, entirely distinct from each other but
exhibiting the same greatness of talents in their respective spheres. We allude to Louis
the Fourteenth, Peter the Great, and Kang-he. The first restored the royal power and
saved his country from the despotic rule of favourites; he waged war for the sake of
aggrandisement, and kept Europe in a state of agitation during his whole reign : yet
France arrived at the summit of power, literature and the kindred arts rapidly advanced.
and have not been surpassed by posterity : the nation became henceforth the lawgiver
of taste and manners to all Europe. Peter the Great was superior to Louis ; for he
rescued a people from barbarism, and created a new empire. Few princes proved such
benefactors to the world as the Russian autocrat. Kang-he's province was different from
both. He had to consolidate an empire over the most numerous nation on the globe, which
had just been subjected to the sway of barbarians. Born a Tartar, without those advan-
tages of education which Peter enjoyed, and a barbarian when compared with Louis the
Fourteenth, his capacities were not inferior to those of either prince: but the task he
had to perform was far more gigantic. The most polished of those sovereigns, who had
ample means of doing good, left the nation in a wretched state; the monarch of the
North raised his country to greater glory than it had reached at any previous period;
Kang-he transmitted an extensive and flourishing empire to his successor. It is easy
to fix upon the two latter as best deserving of that praise which posterity assigns to the
most illustrious of the human race : but, on which of them to bestow the pre-eminence
LIFE OF KANG-HE,
is rather difficult to determine. Peter the Great certainly did more for Russia than
Kang-he for China; but the faults of the former were far more glaring, his passions
more unbridled, his reign more unstable. Both degraded their presumptive heirs and
changed the succession. Peter travelled for instruction ; but Kang-he invited the most
celebrated scholars to his table, to discourse with them upon the principles of science.
If Peter became the apprentice to a shipwright, Kang-he, like a diligent schoolboy,
learned his lesson from despised foreigners : if both overcame national prejudices, those
over which Kang-he triumphed were far greater. Estimating the magnitude of events
by their results, the good which the Chinese potentate performed in his time, ceased with
his life. His dominions were extended, and secured against foreign aggression ; but the
country relapsed into that inert state so characteristic of the Celestial Empire. What
is Russia now, to what it was about a century and a half ago ? — and if it had not been
for Peter, humanly speaking, it would be still in the same barbarous state. The
territories of both monarchs bordered upon one another. Though men of congenial
minds they became inveterate enemies, quarreling about some ice-fields on the frontiers
of Siberia. Such is man in all his greatness !
Viewing the great ends of Providence which were accomplished by these three
monarchs, we cannot but adore the wisdom of God. He who calls forth men from
nothing, and endows them with gifts to do his work on earth, forms them also for their
station. As soon as they have fulfilled the Divine will for which they were called into
being, they are summoned to give an account of their stewardship. These three princes
had a very wide sphere of usefulness assigned to them ; they reigned longer than monarchs
usually do, and lived in a time in which concurrent circumstances favoured the greatest
enterprises. History appears quite in a new and a different light, when we study it as
a detail of events ordained by the wise Director of the universe. The greatest princes are
in themselves weak and contemptible ; but as instruments of God, eminently powerful.
None of these kings knew the truths of the Gospel : Louis proved a persecutor to its
adherents ; Peter appears to have been indifferent about religious tenets ; and Kang-he
favoured Popery for mere political reasons, and respect for its teachers. So true it is
that men great and renowned, are often incapable of becoming wise unto salvation !
Louis has had both his panegyrists and historians ; the works of Peter confer upon
him more lasting renown than the most able pen of a classical biographer ; and Kang-he
has found the most minute biographers in the Jesuits, his constant 'companions. As for
the Chinese accounts which we have seen, they are meagre diaries, and collections of edicts
EMI'EROIl OK CHINA,
issued by this prince. Amongst a crowd of natives, distinguished by their learning, talent,
and rank, we have not found an individual who has spoken one word in praise of that great
monarch. The Chinese rather look upon him as an innovator whose mind, though
stored with ancient classic lore, did not constantly revert to antiquity. We were there-
fore obliged to collect the materials for our memoir from the writings of panegyrists :
the "Lettres Edifiantes"— " Histoire Generale de la Chine." Du Halde— "Le Compte,
Memoires sur l'etat present de la Chine," and some casual remarks of travellers.
Abel Remusat has given a short biography in his " Nouveau Melange Asiatiques." Our
readers must therefore be prepared for a too partial account; for, all these writers looked
with enthusiastic admiration to a prince so far above the prejudices of his age and
nation, and who proved himself the steady friend and patron of his biographers.
There is not one dissentient voice as to his character, his grand enterprises, his
capacious mind. From every friend to civilization, from every well-wisher to the happi-
ness of nations, he will receive the same encomium. Yet we should wish to possess
a more impartial description. We might have desired that Lange, secretary of the
Russian mission, had become his biographer, or that some intelligent Kalmuc or
Mongolian, whose countrymen had been enslaved by the great monarch, had been
chosen to compile the annals of Kang-he's time.
It would be difficult to draw a parallel between Kang-he and other celebrated
Chinese emperors. The most renowned amongst such a long series of monarchs, is
doubtless Kublae, who, like Kang-he, was a barbarian ; yet Chinese historians are silent
upon his merits. All we know about him is from Venetian travellers, and from his
gigantic enterprises, the traces of which remain to the present day. Chinese authors
garble their characters too much ; they do not write freely, but often transcribe whole
pages from the eulogies of Yaou and Shun, to dignify a hero ; or copy the exhortations
of Chow and Kee to show their abhorrence of a prince's vices. Under such circum-
stances, neither impartiality, nor even faithfulness of description, can be expected.
There are, however, some princes who excel the crowd of common mortals, and, in
many respects, may be ranked with Kang-he. Amongst those we reckon the founders of
the Tang and Ming dynasties, and, perhaps, Che-hwang-te, the famous innovator, and
destroyer of literature. In praise of the two former many an ode has been composed,
whilst the latter has only met with detestation. Yet all of them laboured under great
disadvantages, and were enabled, by the strength of their own genius solely, to raise
themselves above the degraded state of their countrymen. It was reserved for Kang-he
4 LIFE OF KANG-HE,
to have intelligent but bigotted foreigners around him, and he knew better how to
improve himself by their instruction than even his great predecessor, Kublae. For the
first time, the superiority of western sciences was acknowledged in the palace of the
Chinese emperors. The monarch admired the fertile genius of men denominated Bar-
barians, but, though he showed this great predilection, none of his courtiers exhibited
the same inclination. It was a weak attempt of a potent monarch to reform the taste
and habits of millions by his own example.
The ardour with which Kang-he entered upon his studies, proves how much he
intended to do for his country. But finding no co-operation, he stopped short, measured
the difficulties he would have to encounter, and then timidly recoiling, was content with
improving himself, whilst he never attempted the reform of his people. Scarcely
had he closed his eyes, when his son at once discarded scientific improvement, and
endeavoured to restore the ancient times of mental torpor. In this he succeeded but
too well. His successors took similar views ; and, though now an emperor sits on the
throne, the name of whose reign is Reason's Glory, (Taou-kwang,) it is fallen reason
which glories in its abject state.
The Mantchoos and their Conquest. — The territories of China which we com-
prise under the name of Mantchouria, are in many respects superior to the Mongol
steppes. The country is well watered, contains large forests, and could, notwith-
standing its cold climate, produce our European grains, if the inhabitants were willing
to labour. But these lands seem to have been given as possessions for nomades, and
never has anagricultural people inhabited them. Scattered tribes of Tartars, in the
lowest state of civilization, resembling in many respects the Samoyades of Siberia, lived
towards the river Amour; the west was peopled by Mongol races; and in the south,
at present a part of Kirin and Leaou-tung, some better regulated Tartar states existed.
The inhabitants were fierce, and the implacable enemies of the Chinese. They often
invaded the northern provinces of the empire, and kept possession of them for a consi-
derable time ; subjecting, also, part of Korea to their sway, they established a large
empire which contended with China for the supremacy. If there arose a Chinese hero
who boldly rushed forward to extirpate the barbarians, they were rendered tributary,
until mixing with the Chinese, they grew effeminate, and soon fell a prey to another
tribe which issued from the desert. Such, in short, has been the history of the tribes
of that country for many ages. Whosoever investigates their annals, will soon find,
that the history of nomades is as vague as their whole mode of life ; hordes grow and
EMPEROR OF CHINA. .">
dwindle away : conquerors appear, and are on a sudden lost : like the waves of the sea,
one swallows up the other. Native, as well as foreign historians, have bestowed lost
labour upon tracing the origin of the Mantchoo family which occupies the Chinese
throne. The emperors themselves were obliged to have recourse to fables, in order to
draw up their pedigree; but it would have been much better if the founder had
answered like Napoleon, " I am the Randolph of my house !"
To elucidate the history which we are going to relate, it will be necessary to retrace
During the Sing and Tang dynasties — (the former reigned from 389 to 618, and the
latter from 618 to 907 a. d.) — the ancestors of the Mantchoo tribes were known under
the name of Muh-cho. Their heroes served in the Chinese army as generals ; and
some amongst them obtained great distinction. In the eighth century of our era, they
founded a mighty empire, which likewise comprised a part of Korea. The little
we know of this state is from the Chinese annals ; and these are not only often incor-
rect when treating about foreigners, but likewise very scanty. They were attacked in
their turn by a tribe of Leaou-tung, and forced or enticed away from their abodes.
We discover all at once, towards the latter end of the Sing dynasty, that they have been
the conquerors of Northern China, known under the name of the Neu-che. Elated
with their great success, they established a kingdom extending over most of the Chinese
territory to the north of the Yang-tsze-keang ; this they called Aishen Gurun ; in
Mongol, Altun Shane; and in Chinese, Kin, or Gold. They endeavoured to imitate
the Chinese in their way of governing the people, and appeared to be intent upon the
entire subjugation of the Celestial Empire. Yet in the execution of these ambitious
purposes, they were disturbed by the conqueror, Kublai, who drove them from the
Chinese territory, or subjected the remainder to his sway. — (1234.)
The nation seemed now to have been lost in the desert. Yet these nomades on a
sudden emerge from obscurity, carry away with them all the tribes they meet in their
way, like an irresistible torrent, and adopt a new name, under which various nations and
tongues, now united in the same enterprize, are comprehended. As soon, however, as
they meet with a disaster, their auxiliaries and slaves either run away or join their
enemies. Helpless and forlorn, they betake themselves to flight, go in search of their
ancient abodes, and are nearly destroyed before they reach the land of their forefathers.
Such has been the appearance and disappearance of mighty Tartar tribes since times
immemorial. We hear now nothing more of them ; even their name no longer occurs
6 LIFE OF KAN'G-HE,
in Chinese history. It is very probable that many joined the Mongols in the conquest
of China, whilst the small remnant lived an inglorious life in the desert.
The reign of the Mongols was, however, very ephemeral. They suffered in 1367
the same fate which they had prepared for the Neu-che, and were expelled from the
country by the triumphant Chinese. The latter were so exasperated at their cruel
masters, that they pursued them into the very heart of Tsitsihar, the country of the
Zolons, a fugitive Mongol tribe. Here a monument of Chinese victories was erected,
and the empire defended by a wall, of which the traces are still extant. The Mongols,
however, soon recovered from their terror ; and, prompted by despair, they repeatedly
invaded the Chinese territory. As often as they were an united nation, they invariably
routed the Chinese army; but when the emperor succeeded in sowing dissension
amongst the chiefs, and rendering some of them tributary to the Celestial Empire, their
hordes were easily defeated and subdued. Situation, circumstances, and self-interest
gave rise to several empires in the desert, which respectively endeavoured to extend their
dominion. Of these tribes, that called Tshakar was in immediate contact with the
Meanwhile the scattered Mantchoo tribes appeared periodically on the frontiers, to
exchange their horses and cattle, furs and drugs, with the Chinese dealers. The trade
proving profitable to both parties, it was conducted with the utmost spirit. At length,
unhappily, a dispute occurred between the barbarian merchants and the mandarins, to
decide which these rude children of nature appealed to arms. In these struggles the
Chinese functionaries displayed the conduct of mere braggarts, while the confidence of
the Tartars in their own strength increased a3 they perceived the timidity of their
During the sixteenth century, the Chinese government was too much occupied with
the Japanese, who had made repeated descents upon the coast, to pay any serious atten-
tion to such petty tribes. This negligence proved favourable to the Mantchoos, who
continued to increase their power, and approach nearer and nearer still to the fertile
district of Leaou-tung.
And now the mysterious ways and workings of an Almighty Providence became
visible. Amongst the many tribes, and hordes, and families, which traversed the
steppes, there was one more particularly favoured. The eloquent Mantchoo historian
who compiled their biography two centuries afterwards, ascribes to the patriarch of this
house nothing less than a divine origin. A magpie dropped upon the garments of the
EMrEROR OF CHINA.
youngest of three sisters who lived on the foot of the Long White Mountains, (near
the northern frontiers of Korea,) a beautiful red fruit, whilst they were bathing. .She
tasted the unexpected gift, and, in consequence, became the mother of a lovely boy.
Asking her eldest sister what name she should bestow upon the child, she replied,
" Heaven has sent this son to restore peace to the kingdoms, you must therefore call
him Aisin-ghioro, adding the surname of Balkhori Yong-shou." Soon after this the
mother died, and the orphan boy, from a love of adventure, having entered a small
boat, floated down a stream into more populous districts. From the day of his birth he
was able to speak, and there was something preternatural in his personal appearance.
His presence, therefore, attracted the attention of one of the three contending Mantchoo
chiefs, who came to fetch water from the river. The youth being acknowledged as a
saint, and born to calm the dissensions which then reigned amongst the scattered tribes,
was courted by all as a prince of peace. He commenced his ministry, therefore, by
uniting the various families, re-establishing order, and, having happily concluded his
career, left the government to his posterity.
Feuds, however, soon again separated the nations. The adversaries of this illus-
trious family in their turn acquired power, and put all its members to death, with the
exception of one young prince who fled into the desert Here he had nearly been
taken by his pursuers, but a magpie alighting upon him, they mistook him for a leafless
tree, and went their way. This child became the grandsire of the reigning house of
princes. We are not informed when these miraculous events occurred — tradition is
seldom scrupulous about chronology ; but this one fact is evident, that the Mantchoos
remained in obscurity just as long as the tribes continued to make war upon each other.
The following are the principal tribes which were subsequently united by Tae-tsoo
in 1616, and reduced under a common government: — Isukssuchu, Isargu, Griamuchu,
Dshan, Fann'gia, Elmin, Dshakumu, Ssakda, Ssuan, Donn'go, Farchu, Andarki, Uedsi,
Churcha, Uarka, Fiu, Ssachaltscha, Dehoogia, Mardun, Onn'golo, Antu - Gualgia,
Chuneche, Dshetschen, Tomocho, Dshann'gia, Barde, and as many others. These
names are quoted to show the number of hordes into which that nation was distributed,
and which had not even a common name. This was, with the art of writing, adopted
from the Syrian Estrangulo, in imitation of the Mongol, and vigour given to the nation
by the conqueror Tae-tsoo, a very great man. From the time of his reign they were
called Mantchoos, a name they have retained to the present clay.
8 LIFE OF KANG-HE,
Tsung-beile, born in 1559, who is said to have had the forehead of a dragon and
the eye of a phoenix, conquered all the tribes to the east of the river Sooksookho. He
was now elated beyond description, and in 1583, the name of the Neu-che occurs for
the first time in the Chinese annals. It was this prince who commenced the war which
was to last for about sixty years, and to end in the total conquest of the Chinese
empire. These hordes had neither arms nor discipline, in both of which the Chinese
excelled them, and their superiority consisted in physical courage, which was stimulated
by a desire of plunder, and also in their excellent cavalry. Their troops, however,
were accustomed to fatigue, in their domestic feuds they had learnt to defend them-
selves with ardour, and war had now become their profession.
The Chinese functionaries on the frontiers observing the growing power of the
barbarians, scattered discord amongst the tribes, to cause them to fall by their own
hands. But Tae-tsoo, who had succeeded his grandfather, vanquished both his Mongol
and his Mantchoo foes, and in the pride of his heart proclaimed himself Emperor. Yet
his views were still confined to Leaou-tung, a territory which the Mantchoos subjected
with much effusion of blood.
The Chinese would even now have been able to resist, if their country, by misgo-
vernment, had not fallen a prey to freebooters and desperadoes. Large bands traversed
the provinces^ butchering the inhabitants and razing their cities ; famine and misery
prevailed everywhere ; the army was no longer paid ; and the mandarins ruled for
themselves alone. In vain did the emperor rally the last remains of his troops ; they
were defeated on all sides ; and He-tsung, the Ming Emperor, died broken-hearted.
His successor, Hwae-tsung, heard with astonishment, that the Tartar king, Tae-tsung-
wan-hwang-te had, since 1627, proclaimed himself Emperor of the Chinese. He
had already found by experience that there was no force to resist his invasion, and
he therefore wished to aim a bold stroke at the reign of the Ming. Buoyant with
these hopes, he made all preparations for a campaign; yet was his ardour consi-
derably checked by the presence of an excellent Chinese general. Fate, however, had
resolved on giving this country to the Tartars, and all things therefore co-operated to
bring this great event to its consummation. Upon the approach of Le-tsze-ching, the
most famous amongst the bandit-captains, to Peking, the poor emperor was struck with
consternation, and despatched himself, without taking any serious step for repelling
these bold intruders from the gates of his city. Woo-san-kwei, commander of the
EMPEROR OF CHINA. !)
Chinese forces on the frontiers immediately concluded a peace with the Mantchoos,
engaged them as allies, was successful in his attack upon the robber, and now endea-
voured to send the Mantchoos back, according to the original stipulation. They pre-
tended that they first wished to pacify the empire; and, combining with some Eastern
Mongol tribes, they openly resisted all solicitations to withdraw. Seven thousand men
had saved the Chinese troops from utter destruction, whilst engaging with the robber-
chief — sixty thousand more advanced from the steppes, to share in the rich booty.
Even their united efforts could not dislodge the robbers from their strong-holds, they
fought with such valour and determination. Woo-san-kwei, upon whom the manage-
ment of government affairs now entirely depended, however, preferred paying his auxi-
liaries the stipulated tribute, to bringing the wolves into the country to destroy the
dogs. He therefore held a consultation with the Tartar chiefs, and most politely
requested them to return home ; whilst they, on their part, returned as polite an answer,
that their stay was necessary for the weal of the country — and Woo-san-kwei was too
weak to contradict their wishes. Their army was immediately divided into three
detachments ; one joined the Chinese for the extirpation of the robber-chief, another
marched to Shan-tung to free that province from freebooters, whilst the third and
strongest division moved directly on the capital to preserve its tranquillity.
The celebrated Tae-tsung, who had deserved so well of his country, died just eight
years before, leaving no son to succeed him. The princes being- very ambitious,
deferred the choice of a new emperor, and administered the government by a council
of state. It is not a little extraordinary that they agreed so well amongst each other.
Their operations were prompt — their movements decisive. A resolution having once
been adopted, it was instantaneously executed. The soldiers were always ready to
mount their horses ; and the blowing upon a large copper horn informed them of the
time of departure. They followed their leaders with the utmost devotion, never asking
whither they were proceeding. Inured to fatigue, they subsisted upon very moderate
rations, yet made immense forced marches, so that they were often on the flank and
rear of their enemy at the same time. Such an army was, in China, invincible.
Upon approaching Peking, the Chinese hailed them as their deliverers. A very great
number of mandarins went to meet them in state robes; the people were intoxicated
with joy; and all hearts beat high in saluting the friends of the country. Suddenly,
however, the Mantchoos placed their own sentinels on the gates, and disbanded the
10 LIFE OF KANG-HE,
Chinese soldiers; upon which terror instantly filled every breast. It was too late
when the officers discovered their error and credulity, for the Tartars were already in
possession of the city. A grand council being convened, the Tartar princes debated
on the best form of government, and finally resolved upon electing an emperor; and,
to disappoint the ambitious views of so many dangerous competitors, they chose a child
of seven years old, the nephew of Tae-tsung, and future father of Kang-he. A regency
was immediately arranged, the hopeful boy proclaimed emperor, and the subjection of
the whole country unalterably decreed. The name of the reign of this emperor is
called by native historians, Shun-che, " Prosperous Reign." On his accession he deli-
vered a speech to the assembled nobles, which was of course prepared by his ministers,
in which he promised security of property and life to the people, and ample rewards to
Weak and divided as the Chinese were at that time, the Tartars were still more so.
A child on the throne, many ambitious nobles in the council, an army of feudatory vas-
sals, and an immense country before them, of which they did not even know the geogra-
phical position, no human prudence could have promised them success ; for, what were
one hundred thousand strangers scattered over a large surface of the empire, amongst
myriads of bigoted Chinese, who hated the very name of foreigners. But He who
gives the kingdoms of this world to whomsoever he pleaseth, had destined China for the
Mantchoos ; they overcame all obstacles, and traversed the whole kingdom from north
to south, and from west to east. Never was such an extensive conquest gained in so very
short a time, and with such apparently inadequate means.* China had often been sub-
jected by barbarians; but they were valiant, their numbers imposing, and their progress
slow. Here we see a small host, neither celebrated for bravery nor tried in many
battles, scarcely civilized, disputing the sway with native princes, and prevailing after
very severe reverses. Surely it was not man, but God, who wrought this great
Scarcely had the mandarins at Nanking heard of this usurpation, when they chose
a descendant of the Ming family for their emperor. Wao-san-kwei persevered in his
pursuit of the banditti, succeeded in surprising their chief, and thus tranquillizing
the north-western provinces. The new Tartar prince gave him the title of Pacificator
of the West, and invited him to join his arms in repelling any pretender to the crown.
* Except the subjugation of the same people by the English in 1842.
EMPER0B OF CHINA I |
In the mean while, the newly-created emperor at Nanking amused himself with
trifles, while fresh swarms of Tartars poured into China. He was as imbecile and
worthless a prince as ever dwelt in a Chinese harem ; he endeavoured to form an
alliance with the Mantchoos, and wrote a very elaborate letter to Shun-che, but the
offer was unhesitatingly rejected. To the indescribable consternation of the emperor,
the Tartars now approached in numerous hordes to the Yang-tsze-keang river. At this
critical moment the unworthy scion of Ming spent his time in carousing, and was so
intoxicated that he was not even able to read the despatches which a messenger brought
him, detailing the utter helplessness of the Chinese army. Even this river, the last
bulwark of the Chinese power, was not defended ; the mere mention of the Mantchoo
name was sufficient to strike them with terror. The weak emperor fled in haste from
his capital; and the Tartars, having dispersed the whole Chinese army by their
appearance, took quiet possession of Nanking. The unfortunate prince now knew
no asylum ; he saw himself pursued, and his companion, who thought escape impos-
sible, drowned himself with the emperor in the Yang-tsze-keang.
The throne was now ascended by a man who well deserved to rule. He was
a descendant of the Ming, and had resided for some time in Hang-choo, the capital of
Che-keang. Proclaimed emperor, he made immediate preparation for resistance ; but
the Tartars stood suddenly before the gates of his capital. Plunged in despair, he
only stipulated the preservation of his subjects, and gave himself up a victim to the
fury of the besiegers. Such noble conduct had deserved the most enthusiastic attach-
ment on the part of his subjects, but they exhibited no inclination to defend the
rightful heir of the throne — slaves are indifferent about the fate of their taskmasters,
whom they can never love.
Had there now been one single individual at the head of affairs, with ability to
become a leader, the empire might have been saved. There were many who aspired to
the sceptre, and amongst them a Ming prince in Fokeen, and another in Kwang-se ;
but they neither possessed talents to rule, nor did they cultivate the union requisite for
concerting plans of defence. Thus they counteracted each other's designs, and became,
one after the other, a prey to their enemies.
Shun-che, on the other hand, tried every means in his power to pacify their minds :
for, instead of despising the Chinese, he entrusted them with high offices, appointed
their officers commandants of the cities, and summoned the soldiers to join his army. In
12 LIFE OF KANGHE,
these benevolent designs, however, he was often baffled by the treachery of the natives.
It was difficult to distinguish a friend from a foe : and an order was therefore issued,
that all those who acknowledged the Tartar sway should shave their heads, and allow
a tuft of hair to dangle down the back, because such was the custom of the conquerors.
The Chinese would rather have ten times changed their dynasty than conformed to such
a preposterous fashion, for which there was no precedent in all antiquity. Their
national spirit was roused, and a deadly hatred against the innovations of the barba-
rians henceforth filled their breasts. Trifles had thus a far greater influence upon their
minds than the most severe persecution and unheard-of revolution. The Mantchoos
were not aware of the great change which had taken place in the public spirit. They
flattered themselves that they would drive the Chinese before them in Che-keang, as
they had done in all the other provinces. Having passed the Tseen-tang, they attacked
with great ardour a corps of Chinese stationed there to dispute the passage. How
great was their astonishment when they saw the Chinese soldiers fall upon them with
the fury of tigers. Half their army remained on the field of battle ; many soldiers were
driven into the river, and the remnant arrived, in the most wretched condition, in the
fortresses garrisoned by Mantchoo troops. Despair now took place of buoyant hope ;
the Mantchoos having nowhere met with resistance, continued always bold; but, being
once routed, they appeared as cowardly a race as the Chinese.
If this terror had been improved, and immediate measures adopted, the effect would
have been instantaneous and decisive. The Chinese, however, wanted a leader; those
who commanded the troops were unprincipled courtiers, and unable to undertake
In Fokecn, a descendant of the Ming, the prince of Tang, had proclaimed himself
emperor. Joined by the pirate Ching-che-long, he disputed the throne with the prince
of Loo, who had assumed the imperial dignity in Che-keang. On both sides there
was the basest treachery. They persecuted each other with the utmost rancour, and
the pirate fanned the flame which was to devour both parties. The prince of Loo
sent an ambassador, who, having refused to acknowledge the ruler of Fokeen, emperor,
was thrown into prison, and murdered in cold blood. This horrible act seemed to
deserve severe retaliation, and these two princes swore mortal vengeance against each
other. To pacify the mind of his antagonist, the prince of Tang sent an envoy to
Che-keang with presents and money, to bribe the court. As soon as he approached
EMPEROR OF CHINA. Hi
the frontiers of Che-keang, the ambassador of Loo who had accompanied him, slew
the charge-d'affaires, and repaired with the spoils to his sovereign.
The time for quarrels, however, had passed. After a few months, the Mantchoos
recovered from their panic, and presented themselves on the opposite bank of the
Tseen-tang. Here the pirate of Fo-keen, who had left the service of his former
master, had taken up a strong position with his fleet, and thus rendered the transit
impracticable. In vain did the rude Mantchoos try to force a passage; they were
foiled in every attempt, and obliged to take a route where the river was fordable. With
the velocity of lightning, they poured upon the capital of the princes of Loo, took the
city by assault, cut down every individual, divided their host into three brigades, took
possession of nearly the whole of Che-keang, and entered the defiles of Fo-keen,
which had been left unguarded.
The mandarins, always ready to flatter the strongest, tendered their submission,
and were engaged to betray their prince. As soon as Tang obtained information of
this treachery, he declared himself unfit for maintaining the throne any longer, burnt
the accusations of the traitors, and fled in consternation. Being, however, overtaken
Ting-choo-foo, a city in Fo-keen, he threw himself into a pit, whilst his wife was
taken prisoner, and decapitated at Fuh-choo, the metropolis.
Fo-keen is a very mountainous country, in which cavalry can be of no use. Its
numerous passes can be defended by a handful of men against whole armies ; yet, not-
withstanding these local advantages, the Tartars overran this country within a few
months. The people felt no interest in defending their ruler, the soldiers were a set of
emaciated hirelings, and the mandarins were false to their country. Ching-che-lung
was not behind any of them. He received a commission as generalissimo of the army,
and resolved to put his own family upon the throne by means of the Tartars; but
he was taken in the net which he himself had spread. Invited to a conference with the
Tartar commander-in-chief, he was sent with a guard of honour to Peking. His son
waited for a long time to behold his father's return ; and being finally aware that he
had been treacherously put to death, he vowed eternal revenge upon the murderers.
He kept his word ; and the name of Ching-ching-kung is inscribed in letters of blood
in the Chinese annals.
The commandants of several cities were exceptions to the cowardice of their coun-
trymen. The capital, Keang-se, was valiantly defended by a Chinese general ; and the
14 LIFE OF KANG-HE,
unskilful besiegers were so frequently repulsed, that they had nearly given up all hopes
of reducing the city. Heavy ordnance, however, having arrived, a breach was made in
the wall, the Mantchoos entered, butchered the unresisting inhabitants, and struck
a lasting terror into the dastard Chinese.
Intelligence of these disasters having reached Canton, the princes immediately
assembled a council, and resolved upon the choice of another emperor. There were
three scions of the noble house of Ming ; and all being ambitious of the title, they
preferred proclaiming the brother of the prince of Tang, who had saved himself by
sea from the hands of the Tartars. Yet even this well-meant choice was not approved
by the council of Kwang-se, and a lineal descendant from the last emperor, bearing the
title of Prince of Kwei, was raised to the throne. His first hostile attack was against
his rival, whom he completely routed, but at the same time weakened his own strength.
The Tartars on the other hand, always prepared to take advantage of division, under
the command of a Chinese renegade general, captured Canton, and followed the victor
into Kwang-se. The prince, like his predecessors, prepared himself for flight, giving
up the whole in hopeless despair, when the Tartars received a severe check at the siege
of the capital. Determined, however, to eradicate the Ming family, new hordes poured
down from Peking in the depth of the winter (1648,) and Kweilin-foo, the capital of
Kwang-se, was again exposed to the siege of these relentless barbarians. On this
occasion, however, they paid dearly for their temerity. Two Chinese armies, in con-
junction with the garrison of the city, attacked them simultaneously : thunderstruck
with this spirited charge, the Mantchoos fled in every direction, and those who did not
perish in the river, were slain by their furious pursuers. To heighten the joy of this
triumph, the consort of the prince of Kwei was delivered of a son and heir. As she
was a Christian and Roman Catholic, the prince was baptized, and received the name of
Constantine. This princess sent an envoy to Rome, and laid her empire at the feet of
the Holy Pontiff".
Those Chinese generals who had formerly favoured the Tartars, now followed the
tide of prosperity. Le-ching-tung, the conqueror of Kwang-tung province under the
Tartar banners, assembled his soldiers, cut off his tail, the badge of Mantchoo servi-
tude, killed the viceroy, and, by expending large sums of money amongst the troops,
prevailed upon them to follow his example. The military commandant of Keang-se
declared also in favour of the Chinese prince, whilst a Buddhu priest drove the Tartars
EMPEIlOIl OF CHINA. I.)
out of Fo-keen, and bravely sustained a long siege at Kecn-ning-foo. Wlien the place
was finally carried by storm, the Tartars destroyed its inhabitants and razed the walls.
Such cruelty terrified the Chinese. In vain did the two rebel generals endeavour
to inspire their soldiers with courage. Twice they advanced bravely, and twice they
were repulsed by the Tartars with great loss. Their movements were injudicious, and,
failing in their efforts to oppose the rapid march of the Mantchoos, they gave up the
salvation of the country in despair. One of them was drowned in crossing a river,
and the other, to banish sorrow, gave himself up to drinking, and soon after found
a watery grave.
Honan had previously espoused the cause of the Ming princes, but a single
Mantchoo corps reduced the province to subjection. In Shan-se the general rising of
the malecontents procrastinated their destruction by the Mantchoo forces. Already
had all the cities admitted the rebels — already was the capital in a state of blockade,
when an army of 50,000 men advanced from Peking to the assistance of the besieged.
The mere name of Mantchoos was sufficient to disperse the Chinese patriots ; and the
cities returned to their obedience without a blow being struck.
Amongst all the defenders of their country, Keang-tsae, a governor of Tae-tung in
Shan-se, is the most prominent. The retinue of a Mantchoo ambassador, on his way
to Mongolia, to ask a Mongol princess in marriage for the emperor Shun-che, by
their dissolute conduct, drove his city into rebellion. In a dignified proclamation, the
Mantchoos were declared enemies of the country, the Chinese called upon to shake off'
the ignominious yoke, and even the neighbouring Mongol tribes engaged to join against
the common enemy. Though the latter did not keep their word, the Chinese defeated the
Mantchoos in two pitched battles ; Peking itself trembled to see, ere long, a triumphant
Chinese army within its walls. In this emergency, the regent, Tsze-ching-wang rallied
the remaining Mantchoo troops, the last hope of the dynasty, and encountered his
enemy. In vain did he try to conquer by stratagem; the death alone of the patriotic
champion freed the court from imminent danger. The Chinese army dispersed, and
the province immediately submitted to the Mantchoo sway. — (1649.)
Meanwhile, one of the remaining robber-chiefs, Chang-hccn-chung, retired into
Hoo-kwang, defied the government, and in one engagement totally routed the Tartars.
Elated by success, he collected a host of desperadoes, and invaded Sze-chuen, where
he attempted to found a dynasty by measures, in comparison of which the murderous
16 LIFE OF KANG-HE,
deeds of the National Convention were merciful. He was an enemy to mankind, deter-
mined upon the destruction of all — a monster of the deepest dye.
The Shen-se army, marching against him, he glutted himself with the blood of his
fellow-creatures. Anxious to meet them in battle, he went out to reconnoitre, and
being killed by an arrow, his savage companions fled or were slain.
In the year 1650, there were no longer any enemies in the field who could dispute
the reign of the Tartars in most of the provinces of China. Their whole strength was
now bent upon the destruction of the prince of Kwei. A sudden panic seized the
Chinese troops. They lost two battles; and even the bravest general fled to the
capital, dying by the hands of the enemies of his country, and rejecting all offers for
gaining him over to the Mantchoo party. Canton was at the same time delivered up
by treachery, the garrison put to death, and the city pillaged. The Ming leader fled ;
and, struck with consternation at the rapid progress of the Tartars, he passed over to
Ava. Thus, for the first time, after a struggle of eight years, the whole empire bowed
submissively to the barbarians.
In the same year, Tze-ching-vvang, the celebrated regent, died. He was a great
man, guiding all the military and civil councils with consummate prudence. In the
most troublesome times he held the helm of state, never leaving out of sight the sub-
jection of all the provinces. Without treasure, or any artificial rules for the govern-
ment of an empire, he followed common sense, was prompt in the execution of his
plans, maintaining a firm discipline, and enforcing a policy which conciliated or terrified
as occasion required. His last act was the appointment of three renowned Chinese
noblemen, amongst whom was a descendant of Confucius, to the viceroyalties of the
three southern provinces. They did more in reconciling the people to the yoke of the
Tartars, than the bravest and most skilful generals. The Chinese no longer respected
a barbarian government, but obeyed their own grandees.
Amidst these joyful events, Shun-che grew up to boyhood. At fifteen years he was
declared of age, (1651,) and now for the first time wielded the sceptre. Anxious to
consolidate the power acquired by force of arms, public examinations were again insti-
tuted. Many literati were scattered through the empire, and they shared in the same
honours with the conquerors. Yet, with all these wise measures, the rule of the
Mantchoos might still have remained in a very precarious state, if there had not been
a wise counsellor who directed all the measures of the monarch. This was the famous
K.MPEIton OF CHINA. 17
Adam Schoal, a Jesuit, astronomer, and statesman, and a steady friend to the nascent
dynasty. Under an humble garb and the cloak of servility, he was the intimate friend,
the constant companion, and the honoured adviser of the imperial youth. Con-
versant with Chinese politics, and availing himself of the advantages of a superior
education, he prompted the measures which the emperor carried into execution as his
own. If we judge of the fitness of his suggestions by the success which crowned his
efforts, he did more for confirming the authority of the Mantchoos than the most
renowned minister of state of that day. For these unremitted services he was, after
the death of his pupil, thrown into prison, and loaded with chains.
New hopes seemed again to beam upon the prince of Kwei, who was still living in
Ava. Some patriots in Kwei-choo province had gained for him a great many adherents,
and supported him with their treasures. Joyfully he obeyed the summons for making
another attempt to regain the possession of the empire. He was, however, arrested in
his career by the treacherous Woo-san-kwei, his relation, who took him and his son
prisoners, and strangled them in the dungeon. This leader, by an unwarrantable delu-
sion, had been entirely blinded by the promises of the Tartars, and now endeavoured to
ingratiate himself by this detestable act.
The glory of the short-lived reign of Shun-che was remarkable for the embassies of
the Russians, Dutch, Tibetians, and Mongols ; the two former prompted by commercial
views to seek the friendship of the Chinese Empire — the Lamas anxious to recover the
privileges they had lost under the Ming emperors — and the Mongols to obtain political
advantages, unitedly paid their court to the young prince.
There remained only one enemy able to cope with the Mantchoos : this was Ching-
ching-kung. He repeatedly attacked the Fo-keen coast, and always succeeded in inspiring
the Mantchoos with terror. Emboldened by success, he beleaguered Nanking, and
would have taken the city, if his soldiers had not given themselves up to licentiousness,
in order to celebrate his birthday. The constant danger with which the maritime
provinces were threatened, finally forced the emperor to create a navy. But when these
war-junks put to sea for the first time, Ching-ching-kung bore down upon them, routed
them completely, took four thousand soldiers prisoners, whom, after cutting off their
noses and ears, he put on shore. He afterwards drove the Dutch from Formosa,
where he established his government.
In reviewing this bloody war, it appears that the engagements were of short
duration, though of frequent occurrence. No party fought with determined valour,
18 UFli OF KANG-IIE,
but fled with consternation as soon as any disaster happened. The carnage commenced
after the defeat, and horrible were the atrocities committed upon a prostrate enemy.
The troops themselves were not trained soldiers, but a mob which followed the victor.
Armies dispersed and collected with the same facility ; and provinces revolted and
became again loyal within the space of a few months. The Mantchoos were now
united, and followed the same policy throughout their campaigns, and this gave them an
ascendancy over their enemies. If, on the other hand, the Chinese had been supported
by only a thousand regular European troops, as had been promised previous to the inva-
sion of the Tartars, the myriads of the desert would not have gained one inch of ground.
A single Dutch gunner defended Canton against a strong Mantchoo army ; and if the
city had not been betrayed, the besiegers would have been obliged to retreat from the
well-directed batteries. All the baser passions of human nature were here set to work;
the innocent blood, so cruelly and so profusely shed, cried to God for vengeance ; and
therefore the Lord gave the country to the Mantchoos, to re-establish peace and order.
Shun-che's successful reign was short. He had fallen in love with the wife of a
Mantchoo officer, and occasioned the death of her husband by indignities heaped upon
him. But the emperor's sinful pleasure did not last long : the lady bore him a son,
but both the infant and mother only survived a few days. Inconsolable for her loss,
Shun-che ordered a sacrifice of thirty human beings to the manes of his queen.
Her corpse was burnt in a coffin set with pearls ; the chamber was converted into a
Buddhistical monastery ; and the emperor shaved his head, much against the exhortations
of Adam Schoal. Having exhausted his strength with austerities, and fallen sick of
a serious disease, he called before his death-bed the grandees, and having confessed his
manifold faults, commended his second son, the celebrated Kang-he, a boy of eight
years, to their care. He expired at the age of twenty-four years. Shun-che showed
little talent: he was docile and fickle, unmindful of his promises, and a tool in the
hands of intriguing courtiers. Such was the parent of China's greatest emperor.
EMPEROR OF CHINA. 19
First Acts of Kang-hc. — fVar with the Adherents of the 3Ii?ig Dynasty.
Tin: Regency. A. D. 1061 — 1666.
A very ancient law in China entitles the sovereign to choose his successor without
the least regard to priority of birth or extraction. The choice is generally made in
secret Having entered the hall of ancestors, the emperor prays to heaven, earth, and
his grandsires, and afterwards writes down the name of his successor, which is concealed
in a particular place. If the presumptive heir of the crown dies, another is chosen in the
same manner. As soon as the monarch is on his death-bed, he makes a testament, in
which he proclaims his successor, and points out the apartment where his decision has
been hidden. It has often happened that wise monarchs called foolish sons to the
throne, and vice versa : Shun-che's choice, made in open council, and not according to
fixed rules, would do honour to his penetration, if Kang-he had not been too young to
give proofs of the great genius which animated his breast-
Before his succession to the throne he was called Heuen-ye ; his reign was deno-
minated Kang-he, in Mantchoo, Elkhe-taifin (tranquillity and prosperity); in the
ancestorial hall, he bears the name of Shing-tsoo-jin-hwang-te (the holy guardian and
The Chinese government is a vast piece of mechanism, which turns precisely in one
way and no other. Hence the ease with which the country is governed when everything
moves in its sphere, and the difficulty which arises when the stoppage of the least
wheel unfortunately happens.
Kang-he, though only eight years old, was thus enabled to stand at the head of the
greatest government in the world. The day after the decease of his illustrious parent,
he ascended the throne. All the princes, lords, civilians, and military officers at the
capital, with the presidents of the tribunals, were prostrated at his feet, and performed
three genuflexions and nine ko-tows, according to the established regulations. The
magnificence displayed at the court was dazzling. The mandarins on both sides were
dressed in silks embroidered with golden roses. Twenty on each side, held large
umbrellas made of gold brocade, whilst no less than fifty officers bore large fans adorned
with equal splendour. Nothing, however, exceeded the gaudiness of the standards.
20 LIFE OF KANG-IIE,
Upon these were represented the moon in her phases, golden stars, and particularly
the twenty-eight constellations. The Emperor of China being Heaven's vicegerent, he
copies his emblems from the universe, and at state ceremonies exhibits the insignia
descriptive of his celestial office. These standard-bearers were followed by mandarins
carrying axes, banners, and other instruments of war.
His reign was announced by a pompous proclamation, in which a remittance of
taxes, great rewards to loyal officers and subjects, and amnesty to the refractory, were
promised. A new era was now to commence. Chinese and Tartars shared in the
administration of government — a thing unheard of. The constitution was remodelled ;
and, whilst a new order of public officers was gradually striking root, a new generation,
less incensed against the rule of foreigners, also arose. The gracious expressions of the
infant emperor sounded therefore more agreeable than the warm and well-meant
declarations of his father, issued to the same purpose.
Kang-he's first act was to drive the Buddha priests out of the palace. His father,
having changed the imperial abode into a convent, and having been one of the most
bigoted idolaters, appears to have felt the pangs of remorse for his misconduct. The
human mind, however depraved, looks anxiously for religious consolation, especially in
the last agony, when body and spirit quail, and the awful transition to the world of
spirits is to take place, the necessity of a Saviour is, even to a heathen mind, self-
evident. But when the Friend of sinners is unknown, the bewildered heart seeks peace
in following the dictates of superstition, and entangles itself still more in the net of
absurd and pernicious speculations. The Mantchoos, as a nation, had before the conquest
of China no fixed religious notions. Shun-che, throughout the years of his youth, seems
to have shown not the least predilection for any creed ; but, troubled by the death of
his favourite queen, and borne down by despair, the natural consequence of irreligion,
he entirely abandoned himself to the grossest idolatry. Already the greedy Lamas
hovered around the court ; and a favourable opportunity having presented itself, they
received the imperial devotee with joyful acclamations. But scarcely had he closed his
eyes, when vengeance overtook them. The dynasty might have been ruined, if Shun-
che had lived much longer ; for the priests had more than once enfeebled their imperial
votaries, and interfered with the succession. This apprehension appears to have hast-
ened the measure of their expulsion — a step otherwise unconstitutional, because a son
ought not to change his father's regulations for three years.
F.MPEROn OF CHINA. 21
A few days afterwards the council assembled, and chose the wisest amongst their
number as future regents during the minority of the prince. They were all Mantchoos,
and relations of the young monarch. The first measure of this administration was the
expulsion of the eunuchs, a numerous tribe of effeminate beings, who were constantly
nestled in the palace at Peking. Most princes had been subject to their tyranny, and
ruled under their influence ; they took possession of every avenue to the imperial
person, and gained by intrigue what was denied them by power; their influence was
ruinous, their prevalence the certain presage of the fall of a dynasty.
Such were the lessons taught the regents by former ex-princes, they therefore
impeached the chief eunuch, and, without any trial, beheaded him; the others were
expelled from the harem, and sent back to their families. To render the expulsion
lasting, and prevent them from ever again usurping power, a law to this effect was
engraven upon an iron plate more than one thousand pounds in weight. But even iron
laws cannot abolish the law of necessity ; for, so long as the Chinese emperors keep
a large harem, they will need the assistance of officious eunuchs. The prohibitory laws
have been engraved, but the number of eunuchs is again as large as it ever was at any
preceding period ; they are honoured by official rank, and one of them was powerful
enough to head a conspiracy against Kea-King.
So far the measures of this regency had been planned with wisdom. None could
impeach their actions, and this striking at the root of the most serious evils, prognos-
ticated a happy result. Yet, from this moment, the four guardians appear to have
been bent upon mischief only.
Ching-ching-kung having established himself at Formosa, and still maintaining the
empire over the sea with his squadrons, it was not deemed advisable after the loss of one
fleet, to furnish another for certain destruction. The deadly vengeance this pirate had
taken upon four thousand Tartars, called forth retaliation. Instead of pitying those
hapless mariners, who had lost their noses and ears in the service of their country, these
poor fellows were put to death, for having fled before an enemy. The rancour, how-
ever, against this daring freebooter, had taken deep root in the breast of the Mantchoo
officer; the regents, therefore, consulted how the ravages of the pirates on the coast could
be put down. Nobody was able to answer this momentous question ; for the rulers, igno-
rant of naval affairs, wavered in their opinion. At last, one of them boldly proposed
to drive the inhabitants ten miles inland, to destroy cities and villages, and to prohibit
22 LIFE OF KANG-HE,
all maritime trade. This cruel proposition was at first treated with silent scorn, for
only a madman could have spoken thus ; but, in a second sitting, it appeared the only
effectual way of cutting off the pirate, and the execution was immediately resolved upon.
We must not, however, imagine that words and actions are equally severe in China ;
The government always holds very strong language, but the mandarins sent to act in
obedience to the orders, do just as much as suits their convenience. We do not know
to what extent these legitimate plunderers complied with their cruel mandates ; because
no city of any importance was razed ; and Macao, by the interposition of Adam Schoal,
was purposely spared. Yet if we were to draw a conclusion from similar orders of the
present day, the whole would most likely have ended in the destruction of a few fishing
villages, and the reception of heavy bribes for granting respite to other places. There
was, however, a flaming report issued, as customary, stating that things had been done
in strict obedience to orders. To put down the maritime trade without a navy was ludi-
crous ; as it is so very profitable to traffic from one province to the other, that merchants,
on arriving at the ports, will have their goods smuggled up in river-boats, and bribe
the custom-house officers to wink at this irregularity. Even at the present day, there
are edicts extant, issued under the imperial sign-manual, whereby the cultivation of
certain islands on parts of the coast, are either restricted or entirely prohibited. Yet,
there are thousands of people living upon these forbidden spots, and there are not only
paltry villages, but large cities upon them, to prove the nature of the obedience paid
to the laws. If, however, this regulation is again to be enforced, a naval officer with
a squadron arrives, burns down perhaps a few hovels, receives a bribe, and informs the
admiral or viceroy that all the traitorous natives have been driven away. If complaint
be made, that there are still thousands staying behind, the answer is, that the people
have returned. Such we think, by dint of analogical reasoning, was also the case in
Kang-he's time. The following of commands was impracticable, and ill suited to realize
the views of government. What injury was done to the pirate, by seeing a long line of
coast laid waste ? Such a measure only threw a greater number of desperadoes into his
arms, with whose aid he could sail up the rivers, and defy the united Mantchoo forces.
Such was too much the case. On a sudden we see, by an almost unaccountable change
of circumstances, the Dutch become the allies of the Chinese. The monopoly to Fah-
choo, the metropolis of Fo-keen, was secured to the East India Company, as a reward
for the assistance they were to afford. A Dutch fleet actually attacked the pirates near
EMPEROR OF CHINA. _>:$
Kin-mun island, whilst the Tartar general engaged to co-operate with the land-forces,
and attack the common enemy in the rear. The Dutch admiral having poured into the
Chinese vessels and forts some hroadsides, the Tartar forces kept at a respectable
distance. Enraged at this breach of faith, the naval commander challenged the Mant-
choos to do their duty; but he was answered, that the troops refused to advance, and
that if a second attack were made, the general would certainly second the enterprise.
No imperial soldiers, however, advancing against the enemy, the Dutch drove away the
pirates, and took quiet possession of the island upon which Amoy is built. They then
fell upon Formosa, but meeting with no success, an armistice was concluded; and
henceforth both hostilities and alliance with the Celestial Empire ceased, though
the trade to Fah-choo was still continued.
A government which could be so regardless of the first principles of humanity, and
moreover so impolitic, was capable of committing greater crimes. Since Ricci, the cele-
brated Italian Jesuit, had entered the empire, the number of Christian converts had been
daily increasing; with the fall of the Ming family, Popery received strenuous support-
ers in the Mantchoos, and Adam Schoal, the personal friend of Shun-che, had very
favourably inclined the Emperor's heart towards the tenets of the Church of Rome.
This celebrated mathematician became the tutor of young Kang-he, and doubtless was
too grasping in his attempts to influence the supreme government. Since, however, the
Jesuits have told their own tale, the only accusation brought against Adam Schoal and
his coadjutors, was that of a secret conspiracy. Yang-kwang-seen, a very intriguing
officer, waited until Schoal had been struck by palsy, and both his tongue and head were
disabled. This man published a book to confute the tenets of the Roman Catholics,
and presented a petition against the missionaries to the regency: he represented them
as being ignorant of the principles of astronomy, (this accusation sounds very fair in the
mouth of a Chinese,) and bent upon the entire overthrow of this science. "These Euro-
peans, the accuser continued, have been banished from their own country for sedition,
and are come into China to raise a rebellion against government. Schoal's intention, in
obtaining so great an authority at Peking, was to introduce a multitude of strangers
into the empire, who, by his direction, should travel over all the provinces, and take
plans of the cities, in order to facilitate their conquest. The number of his followers,
who were as so many soldiers, was infinite; whilst every year multitudes of strangers
came to Macao, who waited only for a favourable juncture, in order to put their design
24 LIFE OF KANO-HE,
into execution. They teach, he added, that the founder of our empire, Fo-he, was
descended from Adam, that he came from a country called Judea, and that he propa-
gated the ancient religion. Is it not plain, that it is the design of the missionaries to
persuade the people, that our Emperors are originally from Europe, and that their
princes have a right to our monarchy ?" He then produced a book published by Schoal,
exhorting the Chinese and Tartars to embrace Christianity, as being the only true reli-
gion. The same book contained a list of the different churches in the provinces of the
empire, and the names of all the magistrates and mandarins who had been baptized.
The mandarin viewed this as the muster-roll of an army, ready to take the field at the
first signal; whilst he considered the amulets and beads, as the badges of the conspi-
rators; and, producing a crucifix, he blasphemously added, " Behold the God of the
Europeans, nailed to the cross for having attempted to make himself the King of the
Jews; this is the God they invoke to favour their design which they have formed, of
making themselves masters of China.''
This charge fanned the flame, which had only been smothered in the breasts of the
bigoted grandees. Joyfully did the four regents remit the paper to the respective tri-
bunals for examination. Verbuist, the companion of Schoal, defended the accuracy of
the astronomical calculations, but, to justify the singleness of their intentions in coming
to China, he could adduce no valid proof.
Led in chains before the tribunal, the hoary Schoal, then aged 78 years, with a
countenance which inspired the deepest veneration, could not defend himself with his
palsied tongue. Verbuist, his companion, however, a man equally talented, answered all
the accusations with noble freedom. There was, at this time, in the whole of China, no
man living who had deserved so well of the country as the accused ; there was none at
court who could match himself in political wisdom with this foreigner. His secret
influence had been felt to the very verges of Tartary, and every benevolent ordinance
was sure to have originated from him. His merits must have been generally acknow-
ledged, and have provoked that envy which aimed at hastening Adam's ruin. Found
guilty of being the leader of a heresy, he was condemned to strangulation. Since this,
however, was not according to the letter of the law, and did not satisfy the malice of his
enemies, he was afterwards sentenced to die a slow and ignominious death, by being cut
into pieces. When the sentence was about to be read, so the Jesuits tell us, the earth
trembled, and the judges desisted from their wicked design. A fire which broke out at
EMFEROB OF CHINA. -J5
the same time in the palace, and destroyed a great many houses ; and a comet appearing
simultaneously, roused the fears of the queen-dowager. Heaven was said to be
offended ; the criminals, as is often the case on such occasions, were let free ; and even
Schaal, after some delay, obtained his liberty. lie did not, however, survive this
shock, but died, worn out with ill treatment, in 166G.
The missionaries in the provinces underwent similar punishments. Some had to
endure cruel mockings, and others were thrown into loathsome dungeons; whilst the
remainder, twenty-four in number, were sent to Kwang-tung; a change rather in their
favour, for they had at first been ordered to be transported to Peking loaded with
chains. Futorvetta, a famous Sicilian, was one of the number ; but whilst in prison,
another friar exchanged with him this loathsome abode, according to Chinese regula-
tions, and he withdrew to Rome, to state the particulars of the persecution to the Holy
Father. Many churches were destroyed ; the native Roman Catholics imprisoned ; and
the total subversion of the Popish faith determined upon. But there remained still
four Jesuits at Peking, who advocated manfully the cause of their religion.
Kang-he was now nearly thirteen years of age, when he thought himself adecpiate
to sustain the burden of government. The death of Souni, the principal regent,
prompted him to the resolution of swaying the sceptre with his own hands.
The regency having lost the most influential members by death, the remainder
were generally hated as tyrants, and the intention of the young monarch was therefore
generally applauded. Patourou-kung, the most culpable, was accused of having usurped
sovereign power. Upon the dissolution of the regency, the board of punishments,
instructed by the emperor, drew up twelve capital crimes, of which this grandee, during
the trial, had been convicted. He was sentenced to be cut into ten thousand pieces ;
but Kang-he very graciously commuted this punishment into strangulation. Not only
were his goods confiscated, but his third son had to undergo the same punishment;
whilst the seven others were decapitated. This indeed was the cruel action of a brutal
Tartar ; yet the nation magnified the autocrat of thirteen years, for his high sense
of justice; and not one tear was dropt at the tragical end of so many noblemen of
the first rank.
We have scarcely found one important ordinance or edict, which emanated from
these grandees; a proof that their crime consisted more in court intrigue than in political
delinquency. The cruel measures against the inhabitants of the coasts, and the Roman
26 LIFE OF KANG-HE.
Catholics, surely demanded very severe retribution ; but it was not upon these points
that the accusation was principally founded.
The Chinese monarchy is based upon the principle of sacrificing personal interest,
at all risks, for promoting the public weal. High and low must bend to these iron
rules; and whether it be a thousand peasants, or an influential minister, who are
sacrificed to this Moloch, this matters very little. Despotism cannot exist in its full
plenitude of power, without acting entirely independent of the law of the country, and
striking terror into all who venture to oppose it. It was perhaps feared, that the
regents might interfere with the government of an inexperienced youth, and disturb
the ordinary course of administration by their creatures, who owed to them honour
and emolument. One, therefore, had to fall, as a warning example to the two others,
to deter all officers from adhering to their former masters. The execution of this
policy was dreadful; but the opposite party at court was strong enough to stifle
END OF THE FIRST TART.
LIFE OF K A N G - II E,
EMPEROR OF CHINA.
Kang-He's First Acts.— 1667 to 1672.
Scarcely had the youth assumed the sway over the empire, when a Portuguese
ambassador arrived at the capital. As long as the ordinance against the inhabitants of
the coast had remained in force, the Portuguese were subject to many vexations. It was
hoped that the new Emperor, a declared friend of Europeans, would relieve them from
the disabilities under which their trade laboured. Provided with rich presents, Saldanha,
(this was the name of the envoy,) arrived in a boat with a tribute-bearer's flag, at
Peking, willingly performed the three genuflexions and nine prostrations, in order to
conciliate the court, and endeavoured to gain the privileges for which the embassy was
undertaken. But he was treated with vain ceremonies, his visit merely viewed as a
congratulatory embassy, and sent back without having effected anything. His advice
to the citizens on his return was, that they must trust to themselves.
We know little about the manner in which Kang-he was educated, but having had
such a master as Adam Schaal, it may be reasonably inferred that he was brought up
as a prince. The youth possessed a precocious, expansive mind, but notwithstanding
these natural advantages, his application was unwearied. He mastered the difficult
Chinese language, and became thoroughly versed in ancient literature: for his native
tongue he felt a great predilection, and he did not only acquire it thoroughly, but very
materially improved its literature. He took advantage of studying mathematics and
physics, and was, perhaps, the only individual in the whole wide empire, who appreciated
these sciences. Amidst the cares of government, in the administration of which he
was equally assiduous, he never ceased to study for his own improvement; he was
28 LIFE OF KANG-HE,
another Antonine; and on a small scale, a Peter the Great; nor did he forget to
exercise himself in archery and horsemanship. With the greatest ease he accommodated
himself to the prejudices of his countrymen and his subjects, and whilst he heartily
despised the pedantry of the literati, he was perfectly at home in their school.
Such a man had never sat upon China's throne. The hopes entertained of a happy
reign were very sanguine, and fortunately not disappointed. An opportunity soon
occurred of exemplifying his penetration. Yang-kwang-seen, after the fall of the
Jesuits, had been created president of the Astronomical Board ; he hated the improve-
ments of the foreigners, which he never understood, and applied to the Board of Rites
for the re-establishment of the astronomy of the ancient Chinese. Since it is an
inviolable maxim always to revert to antiquity, and to explode every innovation, the
members of this tribunal charged with maintaining the customs of the good old times,
declared themselves in favour of this proposition. Kang-he remitted the declaration of
this board, to the examination of the presidents of the nine tribunals, who constitute
a council for deliberation upon all important affairs of state. This report was
favourable, and the matter was now fully settled, that the missionaries had been in the
wrong, and that on that account their innovations ought to be instantly abolished.
Though possessed of sovereign power to annul the decrees of a general council,
every ordinary emperor would in this case have yielded to the unanimous decree of
the grandees; Kang-he, however, did not care for dogmatical assertions, he looked for
positive proofs. He submitted, accordingly, the National Kalendar to the Europeans,
and ordered them, by a message of four ministers of state, (Ta-he6sze,) to point out the
errors which had crept into it, since Yang-kwang-seen had taken upon himself the
On the next day the whole council was summoned, and Verbuist, Buglis, and
Magalhaens, the three Jesuits, brought before this tribunal, to determine the
question. We give this audience in the words of the missionaries. (Du Halde, vol. ii.,
"The young emperor, who had never seen them, sent for them with the mandarins
assembled for this occasion into his own apartment, causing Verbuist to be placed
directly over against him. 'Can you,' looking at the Jesuit with a cheerful air, 'make
it evidently appear, whether the Kalendar agrees with the heavens or not.' The Jesuit
replied, ' that it was a thing easily demonstrated, and that (he instruments in the obser-
EMPEROR OF CHINA. 29
vatory were made, to the end that persons who were employed in affairs of state, and
had not leisure to study astronomy, might in an instant examine calculations, and find
if they agreed with the heavens or not. If your Majesty agrees to see the experiment,'
continued the father, 'let there be placed in one of the courts a style, a chair, and a
table, of what size you please, and I shall immediately calculate the projection of the
shadow at any hour proposed- By the length of the shadow it will be easy to determine
the altitude of the sun, and from the altitude his place in the zodiac, whence it may
be judged whether his true place is marked in the Kalendar for every day.'
"The expedient pleasing the emperor, he asked the mandarins if they understood
this manner of computation, and could predict the length of the shadow. The Moham-
medan, (for such was Yang-kwang-seen,) boldly answered that he understood it, and
that it was a sure rule to distinguish the true from the false ; but added, that care
ought to be taken, how they made use of the Europeans and their sciences, which would
become fatal to the empire, inveighing at the same time against the Christian religion.
At this the emperor, changing his countenance, said to him, ' I have commanded you to
forget what is past, and mind only to propose a good Astronomy. Dare you launch out
in such a manner in my presence ? Have not you yourself presented me with several
petitions, desiring that able astronomers might be searched for throughout the empire ;
though they have been these four years sought after, they have not yet been found.
Though Ferdinand Verbuist, who understands astronomy perfectly well, was at hand
in this very court, you never mentioned one word of him to me. Hence you plainly
discovered yourself to be a very prejudiced man, and that you do not act with
" Then the emperor, resuming a cheerful look, put several questions to F. Verbuist
concerning astronomy, and ordered the Ko-laou (ministers of state) and the other
mandarins on each side of him, to determine the length of the style for calculating the
shadow. As these Ko-laous went to work in the palace itself, the Mohammedan
astronomer freely acknowledged, that he was not acquainted with F. Verbuist's manner
of computing the shadow; whereof they immediately informed the emperor, who was so
offended at the impudence of this pretender, that he intended to have him punished on
the spot; but considering it would be better to defer it till the experiment had dis-
covered his imposture in the presence of his protectors, he ordered that the missionary
should make his calculation by himself that very day, and that next morning, the
LIFE OF KANG-HE,
K6-laou and other mandarins, should go to the observatory to inspect the length of the
shadow cast by the style precisely at twelve o'clock.
" There was in the observatory a square column of brass, eight feet three inches
high, erected on a table of the same metal eighteen feet long, two broad, and one inch
thick. This table, from the base of the column, was divided into seventeen feet, each
foot into ten parts, which they call inches, and each inch into ten lesser parts, called
minutes. Quite round along the edges was a small channel made in the brass, about
half an inch broad, and of the same depth, which they filled with water, in order to
bring the table to a parallel position. This machine served formerly to determine the
meridian shadows ; but the pillar was much bent, and did not stand at right angles
with the tables.
" The length of the style being fixed at eight feet, four inches, and nine minutes,
the father fastened to the pillar a smooth board, exactly parallel to the horizon, and
precisely of the determined height ; and by means of a perpendicular let fall from the
board to the table, he marked the point from whence he was to begin to reckon the
length of the shadow. The sun was then near the winter solstice, and consequently the
shadows were longer than at any other time of the year.
" Having made his calculation according to the rules of trigonometry, he found that
the shadow of the style next day at noon ought to be sixteen feet six minutes and a
half; whereupon he drew a transverse line on the brass table, to show that the shadow
was to extend neither more nor less than just so far. All the mandarins repaired next
day to the observatory, by the emperor's order, and at noon the shadow fell exaetly
upon the line that the father had traced on the table ; at which they seemed extremely
surprised. The emperor was mightily pleased with the account that was given of this
first experiment, and ordered that Verbuist should perform it the next day in the great
court of the palace, whereof he was acquainted by the Ko-laous, who, with a brass
ruler a foot long, which he had then in his hand, assigned two feet and two inches for
the length of the style.
"On his return to his lodgings, he made his calculations; after which he prepared
a plank well planed, and another fixed perpendicularly to serve for a style. The first
plank was divided into feet and inches, and had three screws, by means of which it was
easy to give it a horizontal position. Next day, going to the palace with his machine,
he placed it in the great court, adjusted it exactly to the meridian, having first drawn
EMPEROR OF CHIN \. :)\
a straight line on the horizontal plane, to mark the extremity of the shadow, which,
according to his calculus, was to he four feet three inches four minutes and a half."
The Kolaous, and the rest of the mandarins appointed to superintend the operation,
met in the same place a little before noon, when they stood in a circle round the st\ le ;
and seeing that the shadow appeared very long, because as yet it had not reached the
plank, but fell on one side of the machine upon the ground, the Kolaous whispered and
smiled amongst themselves, believing that the missionary had mistaken the matter.
But, a little before noon, the shadow coming to the horizontal board, shortened all on
a sudden, and appearing near the transverse line at the hour, fell precisely upon it.
Hereupon, the Tartarian mandarin, discovering his surprise more than any of the rest,
cried out, ' What an extraordinary master have we here !' The other mandarins spoke
not a word, but from that moment conceived a jealousy against the father, which has
lasted ever since. A third experiment was then made, in accordance with the emperor's
express orders; and all the antagonists were now obliged to declare that Verbuist was
in the right.
The Mohammedan astronomers having been labouring above a year at the correc-
tion of the Kalendar, presented the same in two volumes to the emperor. Upon exami-
nination, it was found to be ill-arranged, and, moreover, to abound in errors and
contradictions, being a medley of Chinese and Arabic, insomuch that it might as well
be called an Arabian as a Chinese Kalendar.
"Verbuist,"' thus continues Du Halde, "made a small collection of the most
gross errors in each work, and put them at the bottom of his petition, which was
presented to the emperor, who immediately called a general assembly of the regulos
(kings) his relations, the mandarins of the highest class, and the principal officers of all
the orders and tribunals of the empire, and sent the father's petition to them, that they
might consult what was proper to be done on the occasion. There never was seen an
assembly so very considerable, and convened in so solemn a manner, on account of
matters merely relating to astronomy ; insomuch that one would have imagined that no
less than the welfare and preservation of the whole empire was the occasion of their
" Though the emperor was still in his minority, he had long entertained a secret
aversion to the governors set over him by his father, without discovering it. But having
observed that they had condemned European astronomy, and protected Chinese astro-
32 LIFE OF KANG-HE,
nomers, he laid hold of the present occasion to annul and make void all the acts they
had made. To which purpose some of those whom he most confided in, advised him pri-
vately to make this assembly as august and solemn as possibly he could. They then read
publicly Verbuist's petition ; whereupon the lords and principal members of the council
unanimously declared, ' that the correction of the Kalendar being an important affair,
and astronomy a difficult science which very few understood, it was necessary to examine
publicly, and by the instruments of the observatory, the faults mentioned in the petition
" The matter having thus been submitted to the investigation of all tribunals,
Verbuist verified his remarks by observations, and proved by facts, that the Arabian
was entirely wrong. A general deliberation took place, in which the presidents of the
boards expressed their unwillingness to abolish Chinese astronomy, and establish that
of the Europeans in its stead" They maintained that it was inconsistent with the
majesty of the empire, to alter anything in this science, since hitherto all nations had
derived their laws, politics, and wisdom, in governing from them ; that it was better to
retain the ancient astronomy, which they had received from their forefathers, though a
little defective, than to introduce a foreign one. Instead of blaming the two Chinese
astronomers, they looked upon them as zealous defenders of the grandeur of their
ancestors. At the end of this debate, Yang-kwang-seen raised his voice, saying, 'If
you give way to the opinion of Ferdinand, by receiving the astronomy he has brought
you, assure yourselves, that the empire of the Tartars in China will not continue long.
So much for the renowned astronomical science of the ancient Chinese.'
" There were only a few Mantchoo mandarins who coincided with their emperor.
They repeated the remark of the astronomer, and he was for his temerity put into irons.
Upon further examination, Verbuist stated, that a whole month must be expunged from
the Kalendar, and stated this opinion in a memorial to the Privy Council. The
members of this council looked upon it as a melancholy thing to lop off a whole month
from the Kalendar which they had so solemnly received ; but as they neither could nor
durst contradict Verbuist, they thought proper to send the chief president of the
council to him.
"The mandarin accosting the missionary with a cheerful air, (thus says our
informant,) said, 'Take heed what you do, you are going to render us contemptible
amongst the neighbouring nations, who follow and respect the Chinese Kalendar, by
EMPEROR OF CHINA. 30
letting them know we have heen so grossly mistaken, tli.it there was a necessity of
retrenching a whole month from the present year. Cannot you palliate this matter.
and find out some expedient for saving our reputation? if you can, you will do us
great service.' Verbuist replied, that it was not in his power to reconcile the
heavens with their kalemlar, and that there was an indispensable necessity of striking
out that month.
"The council then immediately published an edict, which imported, that according
to the astronomical calculations of Verbuist, it was necessary to take away the
intercalary month for the current year, and all persons were forbidden to reckon after
it for the future. This edict greatly embarrassed those who knew nothing of astronomy,
for they could not conceive what was become of the retrenched month, and asked in
what place it was laid up.
" After this, Verbuist furnished the observatory with new instruments, viz. a zodiacal
armillary sphere, an equinoctial sphere, an azimuthal horizon of six feet diameter, a
great cmadrant of six feet radius, a sextant of eight feet radius, and a celestial globe of
six feet diameter."
It is very extraordinary that a youth of fifteen years of age should have carried this
measure against all the councillors of state. His firmness, decision, simple adherence
to truth, and readiness to discard prejudices, cannot sufficiently be praised.
The Chinese astronomer was sentenced, by the unanimous voice of the court,
to death; but the emperor having commuted his sentence to banishment from court, and
dismissed him to his native country, Keang-nan, he died on the road.
Verbuist, now raised under the name of Nan-hwae-gin, to be president of the
Astronomical Board, immediately interceded for the memory of Adam Schaal. As
customary, the monarch referred the matter to the deliberation of the Tribunal of
Rites, and it was here decreed, that his manes should be reinstated into all the honours
he had held on earth. This was accordingly done, and Adam Schaal was declared
president of the Astronomical Tribunal in Hades.
The edicts against Popery were at the same time revoked, and the missionaries
permitted to return from Canton to their respective dioceses. Schaai's ancestors at the
same time were decreed noble. Kang-he allotted a large field for the burying-place,
adjoining to that of Iticci, and not only contributed to the expense of this funeral,
but sent the officers of his court, and mandarins, to assist at the ceremony in his stead.
•'34 LIFE OF KANG-HE.
Thus did that father, after his death, triumph over the malice and artifices of his
In the year 1671, the missionaries were put in possession of their churches. But
the edict for their re-establishment was clogged with a clause prohibiting all the subjects
of the empire from that time forward to embrace Christianity. And, as the protection
of the prince, whom Verbuist rendered every day better affected to Christianity, was
much to be relied upon, upwards of 20,000 Chinese were converted and baptized that
year without any obstruction. In the following year, an uncle of the emperor by the
mother's side, and one of the eight perpetual generals of the Tartar militia, were like-
wise baptized ; and from that time Popery made a rapid progress through all the
Kang-he, anxious to see everything with his own eyes, resolved upon studying
mathematics, and especially astronomy, himself. He thought that this science might
aid him in governing the country, and he also wished to decide in future the quarrels of
astronomers by his own judgment. Verbuist. taught him to measure distances, and to
make use of astronomical instruments. This missionary grew every day more and
more in favour with the young emperor, who, being naturally curious, and having a taste
for the sciences, studied under him philosophy for two years: for this end he would
frequently be shut up with him in his closet for three or four hours together.
While the missionary was instructing the head of this monarch, he took especial care
to form his heart to virtue and religion. He began by removing his prejudices in favour of
paganism ; then, dexterously taking advantage of his thirst for knowledge, he instructed
him in the truths of Christianity, making him acquainted both with their holiness and
importance ; of all which the prince was so fully convinced, that he was heard one day
to say, that Christianity would insensibly destroy all the sects of the empire. But he
would declare himself no farther, being contented with protecting a religion, the purity
and excellence of which he admired. A mandarin at that time published a book, in
which he placed the Christian religion amongst the number of false sects. The father,
upon this, having presented a memorial to the emperor, demanding a reparation for the
injury done to the law of the true God, his majesty immediately published an edict,
that none should give it the name of a false religion. What made the emperor entertain
so just and so constant a regard to the missionaries, was not only the great capacity of
Verbuist, who was looked upon as the most learned man in the empire as to sciences,
EMPEROR <>1 CHIN \.
but the knowledge he had of the innocence of their manners, and the austerities which
they practised in private ; of all of which he was so well informed by secret means, (lie
kept a host of spies around them,) that he even knew their particular modifications.
Add to this, his being perfectly persuaded of the love to his person and zeal for In-
service, without any other views than that of promoting their religion, and extending it
throughout his empire." Such are the Jesuit's own words. Kang-he added to geometn
his admiration of western music, and henceforth became the declared patron of the
War with the Adherents of the Ming Dynasty.
The Chinese general, Woo-san-kwei, had shone at the commencement of the struggles
with such great lustre, that one might have expected the most heroic actions from this
scion of the Ming dynasty. Though commanding a victorious army, and having anni-
hilated the robber forces in Shen-se, the general remained an indifferent spectator of
the overthrow of his own relations. He might have decided the contest in favour of
the rightful heirs of the crown, but in the hour of danger he was never heard of. lie
disappeared from the scene, did not co-operate in expelling those foreigners whom he
himself had called into the country, and reappeared only to commit a perfidious act
against the prince of Kwei, the legitimate Chinese emperor. Such treachery was cer-
tainly to meet with its reward.
Kang-he seems to have taken a very just view of the state of the country. Seeing
Woo-san-kwei in the possession of Yun-nan as viceroy, he might always apprehend a
revolt, in which the Chinese functionaries of the southern provinces were doubtless to
join. He was the last hope of the Ming family, and his celebrity as a general was so
well established, that myriads of Chinese would flock to his banners as soon as he
raised the standard of insurrection. He moreover ruled as a father over the province.
The people, freed from heavy burdens, were very much devoted to his interests, and
would follow him whithersoever the general might summon them. He had moreover
the prudence of keeping in his pay a large standing army, which he continually exer-
cised. All this gave umbrage to the court. Woo-san-kwei was no longer an humble
vassal, but a sovereign. Rumours of his disaffection against the Tartar dynasty con-
stantly reached the ears of Kang-he ; he therefore resolved upon trying the fidelity of
this grandee, and sent him an invitation to appear at Peking. That answer was catc-
• , LIFE OF KANG-HE,
gorical: "I shall not go thither," said Woo- san-kwei, "except in the company of
80,000 men." Bitterly repining at the ingratitude of the Tartars, who owed to him the
empire, and rejecting the offer made by two blandishing envoys, he set immediately
about fulfilling his threat. At first he had proposed, that his son, who was kept as an
hostage at court, should render the homage required of him ; yet this being dexterously
rejected, he was certain that his ruin was determined upon.
Having received letters from his son, which rather confirmed him in his suspicion,
he discarded the Tartar costume, and dressed himself like a Chinese. Having abolished
the Chinese kalendar, he published one of his own making, and sent it to the neighbour-
ing foreign princes. This was virtually declaring his independence. The inhabitants
of Yun-nan seconded his views. Woo-san-kwei was thus enabled to march with a large
army into Kwei-choo, which province proclaimed him emperor, whilst Sze-chuen and
Hoo-kwang followed this example. This success exceeded the most sanguine hope
which he had entertained, and he grew bold in the same degree as he met with good
Woo-san-kwei's son at the capital was early informed of the movements of his father,
and prepared to strike a death-blow at the Mantchoo government As a hostage for
his father's fidelity, he could hope for no mercy : he therefore came to the dreadful
resolution of murdering all the grandees and the emperor himself at the audience on
new-year's day. To execute this bloody design, he had engaged the numerous Chinese
slaves, mostly servants of the Mantchoos, in the conspiracy. Since the sufferings of
these poor beings were very great, they very readily engaged in any enterprise which
promised them liberty. The oath of the confederacy was not broken, and the destruc-
tion of the whole court inevitable.
On new-year's eve, the slave of a humane master, Ma-tsi, minister of state and com-
mander of the body-guard, threw himself weeping at the feet of this magnate, unable to
utter a single sentence. Ma-tsi informed him of his entire forgiveness, if he would only
confess the dreadful secret which pressed upon his heart, and thus obtained an account
of the number of conspirators, and of all their machinations. With these views he
hastened to the palace, and as it was very late he was scarcely admitted. He finds the
emperor in his sleeping apartment, and records in a few words the impending danger,
substantiating the evidence by the slave's confession. Kang-he hears with attention the
names of the accomplices. Having deputed Ma-tsi himself, both the ringleaders, as
: ROR OF CHINA.
well as most of their adherents, were taken the same night in custody, and .-hortly
afterwards condemned to die the death of traitors.
The young emperor, however, wishing to extend henevolence and mercy towards the
followers, only punished the son of Woo-san-kwei and the principals ; the others were
either transported or entirely set at liberty. This providential escape filled Kang-he
with gratitude, and he gained henceforth some confidence in his good fortune.
Scarcely were the rejoicings for the happy quelling of this conspiracy ended, when
there arrived couriers from the southern provinces, and informed the monarch of the
rapid progress of Woo-san-kwei's arms. The empire seems at that time to have been
badly garrisoned with soldiers. Those Mantchoos who had subjected the country,
lived now upon their spoils, or had returned to their native land. The emperor had
few troops upon whom he could place an implicit reliance, and the enemy might be
soon expected at the gates of Peking. In this emergency, the great soul of the monarch
displayed its capacities to the best advantage. Having despatched the choice troops
to the provinces, he called the court and the privy council repeatedly together. Pre-
siding at its table, he did not appear like a youth, but as an experienced statesman.
Day and night he was engaged in taking proper measures, both to keep the enemy
from the capital, and to ensure the loyalty of the provinces which had not yet
Notwithstanding all these endeavours, the danger increased with every day. The
viceroys of Foke'en and Kwang-tung joined the alliance against the Tartars; the king
of Formosa sent his fleet to blockade the coast — the Mantchoo dynasty seemed to be
devoted to destruction.
To increase these troubles, the Mongol envoy at Peking reported to his master the
state of perturbation in which Peking was found ; and at the same time showed him the
facility with which the capital might be taken possession of. The Prince of Satchar,
such was the name of the Mongol chief, was confirmed in the accuracy of this report
by several Mongol spies, and immediately formed a confederacy with the other chiefs
for regaining the possessions of their ancestors, the Yuen family.
There was no time for hesitation. Kang-he, having by his spies been informed of
this league, immediately gave orders to a few troops to march into the territory of the
prince of Satchar. Such a sudden onset threw the ringleader of the plot into conster-
nation. His soldiers fled, and he himself was taken prisoner with his whole family.
38 LIFE OF KANG-HE,
The same faults which had ruined the former attempts to throw off the Tartar
yoke, were also visible in the present confederacy. Instead of commencing a joint and well,
regulated course of operations, the princes of Fo-keen and Taewan contested the prece-
dence with one another. Ching-ching-keang was already dead, and his son and successor,
Ching-king-mae was more than ever bent upon the destruction of the Tartar power.
The people of Fokeen could not endure the thought of being subject to a foreign race,
and receiving the tonsure as a badge of servitude. Many rather lost their heads than
conform to this custom, and others emigrated to Formosa to spare themselves the
disgrace ; until this very moment the Fokeenese are not yet entirely reconciled to their
shameful submission, and wear a turban round their head to hide their shame. They
are always the foremost in every attack upon the constituted authorities. It is on that
account that they are constantly decried as unruly subjects, towards whom no compas-
sion ought to be shown. At that time Formosa was the rendezvous of all the most
determined enemies of the Mantchoos ; people who were brave and rich, and determined
upon taking ample revenge upon the enemies of their country.
Ching-king-mae having refused to subject himself to the viceroy of Fokeen, the
latter declared war against him. A fleet ran out of the harbours of Fuh-choo and
Tseuin-choo, but the sailors deserted, rejoicing to join the son of their former master.
The prince of Formosa was by no means elated with his victory, but only bewailed the
irreparable breach in the confederacy by the ambition of one aspiring prince. His
exhortations to abstain from weakening the patriotic cause, by being so very anxious
about punctilios were to no purpose. A new Fokeen flotilla appeared in the seas, and
another naval battle was fought with no better success. The unprincipled leader
attempted his fortune a third time, but being again utterly routed, he gave up all hopes
of obtaining the supremacy for which so much blood had been shed.
Hitherto Kang-he had been unable to undertake anything in the south ; but so soon
as the victorious army returned from Mongolia, and he had received hostages from the
other princes of that country, he despatched a brigade to Fokeen. This prince having
exhausted his strength in waging war against his ally, and deeply wounded the spirit of
his subjects, by leading them into the field against their own countrymen, saw himself a
prey to despair. A coward in his heart, he resumed, as soon as he heard of the approach
of the Mantchoos, their costume, and ordered that his subjects should do the same.
Thus he hoped to appease the wrath of the invading force, and- to procure for himself
EMPEROR OF CHINA. Jl!)
advantageous terms of peace. On their arrival, the Tartars wondered that they did
not meet with any resistance, and, marching directly to the capital, were received uith
open arms. They relaxed in their seventy towards the weak rehel. Though retained
in his office, a Tartar general was left in the metropolis, who watched all his steps, and
did not allow any public act to pass without his express sanction.
In the mean while, the prince or viceroy of Kwang-tung, ready to profit by the
favourable aspect of circumstances, had offered his services to Woo-san-kwei. The
conditions he made in order to pay himself for uniting in the general confederacy, were
very exorbitant. Woo-san-kwei reflected upon the possibility of his assuming the
purple, by having fully granted them, and therefore did not very cordially engage the
proffered services- A mutual coolness was the consequence ; and the viceroy, appre-
hensive lest Woo-san-kwei might punish his want of zeal in the common cause, put his
province in a state of defence. Such was the disunion of the rebel princes, that
instead of carrying on their operations conjointly, and obtain the advantages which
they might have afterwards divided amongst themselves with pleasure, they quarrelled
about privileges which none had it in his power to bestow. The viceroy having heard
of the disasters which had befallen Fokeen, immediately shaved his head, and engaged
in open hostilities with Woo-san-kwei. ' In this state of things the Tartar army entered
the province. He treated the general with great honour, provided the soldiers with
food and clothing, and received on that account the preservation of his life as a boon,
whilst, however, his power was greatly limited by the presence of the Tartar general.
Two provinces were subjected without shedding one drop of blood ; the danger was on
one side of the country removed, but on the other more threatening ; of this, however,
we shall speak in another chapter.
Kang-he seems to have been very much exasperated against the viceroy of Kwan-
tung. He prohibited commerce with the red-bristled Barbarians for two reasons ; first,
it enriched the magnate, and secondly it afforded him an opportunity of entering into
a foreign alliance. The grandee paid no regard to this order, and was moreover inca-
pable of excluding foreigners from all commercial intercourse. The emperor thereupon
only waited for an opportunity to show his displeasure. A rebellion of the mountaineers
furnished the viceroy a pretext for assembling an army, and for marching into Kwang-se.
As his behaviour gave daily more and more grounds for suspicion, the young emperor
despatched two noblemen with a silken yellow cord, ordering his faithless minister to
40 LIFE OF KANG-HE,
hang himself. These messengers arrived during the night, and on the following morning
having assembled the Tartar troops, they boldly went up to the palace, to transmit the
casket with the yellow cord. Dressed in his robes of state, the perfidious servant con-
formed to the decree, and hanged himself instantly. He had several brothers, and one
of them was the father-in-law of the emperor. Three of them, and more than one hun-
dred of the principal military and civil officers suffered the same penalty. The Tartars
wishing to plunder his palace, stumbled upon the coffin of the magnate's father, which,
according to the Chinese custom, had been kept above the ground. On opening it,
they found the corpse dressed in the Tartar costume, and on this account abstained
from all violence.
Woo-san-kwei, a very wily military leader, maintained his ground to the last. The
emperor, well aware of his skill in tactics, had given orders to his generals not to
attack him in a pitched battle, but to worry him constantly. The hopes of speedy
success seemed to be very desultory, until Kang-he consulted his oracle, Verbuist. This
priest had proved his constant friend and adviser in all difficulties ; he was in fact the
right hand of the prince — a prime minister in fact, though not in name. On a certain
day, some mandarins came to visit him, under the pretext of having some difficult
questions solved in the science of the mathematics. All at once they asked him whether
he understood to found cannon. Upon replying that he was conversant with the prin-
ciple, his visitors immediately showed him the imperial orders, enjoining him to set
immediately to work about this matter. The father at first excused himself on account
of the little knowledge he had of instruments of war, and by his engagements in
a religious life, to use his own words, which had entirely estranged him from all secular
warfare, and only permitted him to offer up his prayers to heaven for the Divine blessing
on his majesty's arms. The emperor was not pleased with this answer, it being sug-
gested to him that the missionary ought to be no more scrupulous to cast cannon than
to make any mathematical instrument, especially as the safety of the empire was con-
cerned ; and that so ill-grounded an excuse gave room to believe that he held secret
intelligence with the rebels. The father, well aware of the ill effect that such a suspi-
cion might have on the prince, thought it improper to hazard religion by any unseason-
able delicacy of conscience. He moreover read, in the register of the church of Peking,
that a great many missionaries had been brought into the -empire by the same means
under the Ming dynasty ; and believing that such a piece of service done for the
1 Mil ROB « > I ( IIINA. | |
emperor would induce him to favour the Romish religion, he had, under his direction,
1:50 pieces cast, with wonderful success. These cannons were so light, thai the\ could be
easily transported, and so well guarded by rafters bound with iron hoops, as in resist
easily the shock of the powder. Some time afterwards, the same requisition was made
by the tribunal of war for <'5 - 20 pieces. We shall let the Jesuits tell their own tale.
It occupied above a year to make up this cannon, during which time the father met
with many obstructions ; for the eunuchs of the palace, who, notwithstanding the iron law,
had become very numerous in the time of Kang-he, were impatient to see a stranger so
much in favour with the emperor, used their utmost endeavours to defeat the under-
taking. They complained every moment of the slowness of the workmen, whilst they
caused the metal to be stolen away by the under-officers of the court. As soon as one
of the largest guns was east, before it could be polished inside, they forced an iron ball
into the mouth of it, thinking thereby to render it useless. But Verbuist having charged
it through the touch-hole, it was fired off with such a terrible noise, that the emperor,
being in the palace, would needs see it repeated. When all the cannons were finished,
they were taken to the foot of the mountain, half a day's journey west from Peking, whither
several mandarins went to see them tried; whereof report being made to the emperor,
he went himself, with several governors of Western Tartary, who were then at Peking
and the principal officers of the army, besides his whole court, to see the experiment.
Accordingly, they were loaded in his presence, and discharged several times against
such places as he directed. Observing that the balls struck the places at which they
were levelled by the Jesuit with his instruments, the emperor was so highly pleased, that
he made a solemn feast for the Tartarian governor and principal officers of the army,
in the middle of the fields, under tents, drinking out of his golden cup to the health of
his father-in-law, of his officers, and even of those who had so exactly directed the
cannon. At length, sending for P. Verbuist, who, by the emperor's orders, was lodged
near his own tent, he said to him, " The cannon you caused to be made for me last year
was very serviceable against the rebels in the province of Shen-see, Hoo-kwang, and
Keang-se, and I am well satisfied with your services." Then taking off his vest, furred
with marten-skins of great value, and also his gown that was under it, he gave both to
him as a testimony of his friendship. They continued several days to make proof of
the guns, in which time they discharged 23,000 balls, to the great satisfaction of the
mandarins, whose officers assisted at the same time. P. Verbuist composed a treatise on
42 LIFE OF KANG-HE,
the founding of cannon, and their use, which he presented to the emperor, with forty-
four tables of figures necessary for understanding the control of the instruments proper
for levelling the cannon to shoot at any mark. A few months afterwards, the tribunal
for inquiring into the merits of persons who have done service to the state, presented
a memorial to the emperor, wherein they besought him to have regard to the ser-
vice P. Verbuist had done by casting so many pieces of artillery. His majesty
granted their petition, and bestowed upon him a title similar to that conferred upon
viceroys, when they have well deserved of their government by their prudent conduct.
To prevent the superstition of the Chinese, who sacrifice to the air, mountains, and
rivers, according to the various natural events, and the different works they begin or
finish, P. Verbuist fixed a day to bless the cannon in a solemn manner. For this pur-
pose he erected an altar in the foundry, on which he placed a crucifix ; and then, in
his surplice and stole, adored the true God, making nine prostrations, and beating his
forehead against the ground. And as it is the custom to give names to such works, the
father gave to every piece of cannon the names of a male or female saint of the Romish
church, tracing the names that were to be engraven on the breech of the gun ! So much
for Jesuitism !
Some malicious persons in Spain and Italy, however, thought differently of this
matter, and affirmed that it was unworthy of a priest and a regular, to furnish the
infidels with arms ; and that Verbuist had incurred the excommunication of the Pope,
who had forbidden the use of it. This matter having been referred to Innocentius XI.,
the holy father himself wrote a letter to the missionary, as follows —
" Most dear Son, — We have received the greatest joy from your letters, with which,
after all respectful filial obedience towards us, you send us two valuable presents from
the vast empire of China, where you are at present ; to wit, the Roman Missal trans-
lated into Chinese, and some astronomical tables, drawn up by you for the use of the
inhabitants, by means of which you have rendered the people, before so unpolished in
all sciences, otherwise much inclined to virtue, and favourably disposed to Christianity.
" But nothing could give us greater pleasure than to learn by these letters, with how
much wisdom you make the profane sciences subservient to the salvation of that people,
and the propagation of the faith there, employing them to refute the calumnies and
false accusations by which some endeavour to throw a blemish upon the Christian
religion ; and to gain the affection of the emperor and his ministers to such a degree,
EMPEROR OF china. \:\
that you are thereby not only delivered from the persecutions you have so long suffered
with so much resolution and courage, but you have procured the missionaries to be
recalled from their banishment; and you have not only established religion in its former
freedom and honours, but have put it into a condition to make every day greater pro-
gress. There is nothing which may not be expected from your cares, and the ear.
of those who labour for religion in that country, as well as from a prince who has so
much sense and wisdom, and who seems so well disposed to religion, as appears by the
edict which, by your advice, he has made against heretics and schismatics, and the
testimonies of friendship he has conferred upon the Portuguese Catholics. You have
nothing to do but to continue your labours for the advancement of religion, by the
assiduity of your zeal and knowledge, from which you may promise to yourself all the
assistance of the Holy Chair and our Pontifical authority ; since we have nothing so
much at heart, in order to acquit ourselves well of the duties of universal pastor, as to
see the faith of Jesus happily advance in that illustrious part of the world, which, how-
ever distant from us by the vast tracts of sea and land that interpose betwixt us, is yet
near us by the charity of Jesus Christ, which prompts us to employ our cares and our
thoughts for the eternal salvation of so numerous a people.
" In the mean time, we wish happy success to your holy labours, and those of your
companions ; and, from that fatherly tenderness we have for you, and all the faithful in
China, we give you all, most affectionately, the apostolical benediction, in earnest of our
love. — Given at Rome, the 3d day of December, 1681."
Such a letter put all gainsayers to silence. Previous to this, however, Verbuist bad
received orders to make tables of the celestial motions and eclipses for two thousand
years. In this affair he showed himself extremely diligent, employing all the mandarins
of the first class of the Astronomical Tribunal to calculate the revolutions of the planets,
according to the rules he had laid down. After he had finished this great work, he
reduced it to thirty-two volumes of maps, with their explanations, and presented it to
the emperor in 1678, under the title of " Perpetual Astronomy of the Emperor
Hereupon, the monarch convened a general assembly of the mandarins of all orders,
of the princes, the viceroys and the governors of provinces, who were come to salute
and rejoice with him on occasion of having declared his son successor to the throne.
The emperor received the present with a great deal of pleasure, and not only cau
-1-1 LIFE OF KANG-HE,
it to be placed amongst the archives of the palace, but, to reward his indefatigable
labours, made him president of the tribunal of the first order, and gave him the title of
that dignity. And though the father, by petition, remonstrated that the religious pro-
fession he had embraced would not permit him to accept of this honour, the emperor
gave no heed to it : so that the fear of offending both that monarch, and of hurting
the progress of religion in the empire, obliged him to accept the patent. This,
however, not only conferred nobility upon himself, but likewise upon his parents and
ancestors. His own patent contains more eulogies, which on that account we are
unwilling to quote, but the wording of his grandfather's and grandmother's may here
deserve a place.
" The honours which we grant to those who by their merit have been raised to the
dignities of mandarins and the chief magistrates, ought to be ascribed to the care of
their ancestors as their original, since it was owing to the instruction, education, and
good example received from them, that they practised virtue, and became worthy of
" For this reason, being willing to ascend to the fountain of merit, I extend my
favour to you, Peter Verbuist, who were the grandfather of P. Verbuist, whom I have
honoured with the title of Great Man. Your virtue, like a well-planted tree, has
taken deep root, and will never fall. It still upholds your posterity, and continues in
your grandson, who, by his extraordinary merit, has made known to us what you were.
For this reason, considering you as the origin of his greatness, by especial grace I confer
upon you (in Hades) the sure titles of honours."
The following remarks refer to his grandmother. " We, the Emperor, etc.
" When according to the laudable custom of our empire, we would reward the
deserts of those who have served us faithfully, and by their rewards excite them to
continue their services to us, it is just that that part of the glory which thereby redounds
to them should pass to their ancestors.
" Wherefore, in consideration of the care you took in the education of P. Verbuist,
who so worthily acquits himself in the chai'ges and employments which I have entrusted
to his care, we confer on you, by these presents, the title given to the wife of a mandarin
of the first rank. Enjoy that title of honour, which exalts the care you have taken in
the education of your children, and will excite the care of others, when they shall see
that our imperial favours extend even to those who have any way. contributed to virtue
I MIT. IK) I! Ol ( 1IINA . 45
and to the merit of persons we honour. Your posterity will therefore become more
illustrious, and have for you the greater veneration ; for this reason it is, that we are
willing by these presents to raise the glory of your name."
The other missionaries, being considered as Verbuist's brethren, shared in these
honours, and some of them had it inscribed on their doors, according to Chinese
custom. We must now again return to the war with Woo-san-kwei. The employment of
cannon gave the Mantchoos victory, and the general was obliged to withdraw his troops
to Yunnen, where he shortly afterwards died, bequeathing his cares and dominions
to his infant son.
In the same year a dreadful earthquake happened, whereby a great many palaces
and temples, with the towers and walls of the cities, were overthrown, burying
upwards of four hundred persons under the ruins. More than thirty thousand people
perished in the neighbouring city Tung-choo ; and as the shocks were perceived from
time to time, for three months, the emperor, the princes, and the nobility, quitted
their palaces, and dwelt in tents. On this occasion the emperor was exceedingly liberal
in relieving his subjects and impoverished soldiers. Only a few months afterwards
a conflagration consumed, within a few hours, the imperial palace, with many other
buildings. The loss was immense, amounting to 2,850,000 taels. — (1679.)
Thus were the first years of Kang-he's reign imbittered with wars and calamities.
Four days after the fire, the emperor went out hunting, and observing at a distance the
monument erected in honour of the last emperor of Ming by his father, he felt the
vanity of all earthly greatness. He prostrated himself, and exclaimed with tears in his
eyes, "You know, O great Emperor, that it was not myself, but your rebellious subjects
who were the cause of your death !"
As soon as the news of Woo-san-kwei's death had reached the Mantchoo army in
Tze-chuen, the general resolved upon an invasion of Yun-nan province. Whilst entering
the mountainous defiles, he was astonished at not encountering the least resistance.
By an adroit manoeuvre, he penetrated into the capital, where he took and executed
the whole family of the Chinese rebel. Even the bones of Woo-san-kwei were dug up,
sent to Peking, there exposed to be spit upon and afterwards burnt, the ashes being
scattered to the winds — (1680.) Such was the direful vengeance upon a fallen foe, who
had served the political views of the Tartars with as much fidelity as a native Mantchoo.
The emperor, though he had forgiven for a time the prince of Fo-keen, had not forgotten
46 LIFE OF KANU-HE.
The mandarins of the province, who pretended to be faithful to the Mantchoo
dynasty during the revolt of the viceroy, very opportunely brought in a series of accu-
sations against him. Whilst victory was doubtful, Kang-he invited others to surrender;
but when he found himself strong enough, he summoned the prince and his family to
Peking, where he was slowly cut to pieces, and his flesh thrown to the dogs.
Of all the antagonists, there only remained Ching-king-mae, king of Formosa.
Having witnessed the fall of the viceroy of Fo-keen, he returned home, and soon after-
wards died. His son, Ching-ke-san, saw himself now in possession of a throne assailed
on every side. Kang-he had sent a very clever and conciliating governor-general to
Fo-keen, who proclaimed a general amnesty to all the rebels who had fled to Formosa,
promising to reinstate them in the same offices which they formerly possessed. This
declaration deprived the young prince of many of his subjects, who hastened back to
their relations and friends in Fokeen. To increase the general consternation, a naval
squadron arrived at the Piscadores. Hitherto no fleet manned by Tartars had ever
dared to venture into the open sea; but this time the admiral bombarded, and took
possession of the fort. Dissatisfaction reigned at the same time in the camp of the
prince of Fokeen ; the people were no longer able to live by piracy, and the wrath of
the Tartars inspired them with the most gloomy forebodings.
The prince, mistrusting his own people, and hoping to engage Kang-he on his side,
tendered his entire submission to the emperor. This paper, written in the bombastic
style of Chinese diplomacy, greatly pleased the monarch ; but he insisted upon Ching-ke-
san's appearing at court. Remembering the fate of the prince of Fokeen, he hesitated,
pleading the risk of living in such a cold climate ; but submission was now the only
alternative, and, repairing reluctantly to Peking, he was there closely watched, although
honoured with the title of duke ; and, dying a natural death, he left the title to his son.
Formosa, or Tae-wan, was now for the first time annexed to the Chinese empire, and
became a most valuable possession.
Kang-he having purified the empire, now turned his attention to another quarter.
Never did a Chinese prince, with such slender means, and so little bloodshed, repress
a rebellion more dreadful and extensive. — (1683)
EXD or THE SECOND TART.
L ] F E OF K A N G - II E,
EMI'EKOK OF CHINA.
War with the Eltjth. — Disturbances with the lti ssi ins.
The Mongols were driven, in 1367, from China, by the founders of the Ming dynasty.
Believing themselves secure in their steppes, they were less anxious to regain their
ancient possession than to introduce a new superstition from Thibet. Shamanism had pre-
viously been known to them, but was never acknowledged to be the religion of the state.
Now, however, a prince founded a monastery, and brought friars from the holy land.
The Lamas spread like grasshoppers. The infatuated multitude became more and more
attached to this gross superstition ; every family dedicated one son to the priesthood.
Strong by dint of numbers, possessed of the riches of the country, these priests became the
most powerful class of men amongst all these nomades. Never forgetting the allegiance
they owed to their pope in Thibet, the nation adored his representatives, the Koutouk-
tons, or minor incarnations of Buddha. This change of religion wrought a most won-
derful alteration in the national character. The Mongols were no longer the wild and
untameable invaders of the time of yore, but subject to priestcraft, and discouraged
from every attempt in which the Lamas were not particularly interested. How easily
does debasing error gain votaries, whilst heavenly truth, with its beatifying effects, is
so often rejected !
The descendants and heirs of the terrible conqueror, Genghis-khan, trembled at the
very name of the Chinese. Togous Temour, the grandson of the last Mongol-Chinese
emperor, wishing to wipe away the disgrace of his country, engaged in a pitched battle.
It was fought with very great obstinacy ; but the degenerate Mongols were unable to
stand the shock of the Chinese soldiers. An immense booty of gold and silver, with
48 LIFE OF KANG-HE,
150,000 head of cattle, fell into the hands of the victors. The Mongol chiefs imme-
diately declared their independence. Amongst the princes, who then were very powerful,
was one called Olontae. On the first news that Yung-lo, the Chinese emperor, was
invading the country in order to force them to become vassals, he forsook the khan,
retiring with his tribe to the territory between the Celestial mountains and the frontiers
of Siberia and Tangout. From this tribe, the Eluth, of which we are now going to
speak, date their origin.
During the reign of the Ming family, some tribes of Mongols, with various success,
invaded China, whilst others living at the Great Wall became tributary to the Celestial
empire. It was Chinese policy to keep their feuds constantly alive, and to strike terror,
by a sudden enterprise, into all the tribes. In such enterprises the Chinese generals
were now and then successful ; but once an emperor (Ying-Tsung, 1451,) was taken
prisoner, and an army of 500,000 Celestials utterly routed. Yet did these sons of the
desert not venture to carry on their conquest, because they were divided amongst
At the rise of the Mantchoos, there lived a powerful tribe, the Tsakhars, on the
frontiers of Mantchouria; and, instigated by the Chinese, they declared war against
Tae-tsoo, the Mantchoo chief. In this campaign, however, they were defeated ; and,
instead of bewailing their loss, they preferred ranging themselves under the banners of
the victors. With the course of fortune, the multitudes of Mongols who joined in the
conquest of China increased every day. Nearly all the eastern tribes acknowledged
fealty to the Mantchoos, and had enlisted in the army. The more numerous and distant
hordes did not engage in this struggle, but maintained a doubtful neutrality.
Kang-he, descended himself from nomades, saw the critical state of the northern
provinces, if these barbarians remained unsubdued. Already, under the reign of his
father, one of the Eluth chiefs had done homage to the Chinese monarchs, and received
the title of Kou-che-khan, whilst two princes acknowledged themselves his vassals.
Another chief had been very active in extirpating a band of robbers, and was therefore
honoured with the title of Touchtou-patour-taitsing, and received permission to occupy
the territory of Kokoror.
Whdst thus the nominal influence of the Chinese was more and more extending over
these regions, it seemed very desirable that some political connexions should be entered
upon with the Dalai-lama in Thibet, to bridle by his influence the fierce hordes of the
EMPEROR OF CHINA. 4'J
desert. This pontiff, uninvited, appeared in person* before Shun-che, and, being very
graciously treated, returned with the highest veneration towards Heavens son. The
intercourse was carried on by envoys, and Kang-be flattered himself to conclude a lasting
treaty between Thibet and China; but other more important affairs fixed his attention
upon the re-establishment of peace in his own dominions.
The Kalkas, who inhabit the country to the south of Siberia, being informed of the
great success of the Mantchoo emperors, sent Shun-che a present of camels and horses,
and made him the umpire of their international strife. Two khans came over in person
to pay their homage to the great monarch, and their names were of course inscribed
upon the list of \ assals.
Kang-he having received (1673) one thousand horses and one hundred camels from
the Touchtou khan and Chelei khan, at once fixed upon this number as the annual
tribute; and, without being requested, divided the country of the Kalkas tribes into
eight parts, each standing under the government of a dzarsak, or kind of military com-
mander, and always a nobleman. Whilst he enjoined upon them to bring annually their
tribute to Peking, he at the same time gave them in return, silver, silk, and nankeen,
so that their vassalage might be turned to some profit.
He was thus virtually the defender of the Mongol tribes, in the same sense as
Napoleon was the protector of the Confederation of the Rhine.
Whilst all these arrangements took place, a disturber of the peace was born amongst
the Eluth. His father, the tributary prince of Touchtou-patour, Tae-tsing, just men-
tioned, had three sons. One amongst them, called Kaldan, was remarkable for his
cunning and ambition. In order to procure for himself an undisputed authority, he
hastened to the court of the Dalai Lama; but, shortly before his departure, committed
fratricide. Having been initiated in all the mysteries of the Larsa court, (the Rome of
Asia,) he had the mortification of being dismissed by the Dalai Lama, who had heard of
the murder of his brother. On his return be boasted of his intimate connexion with
the Dalai Lama; and persuaded his countrymen to assist him in killing his elder
brother, whilst they acknowledged him as their chief. Having gained this point, he
subjected the north-western tribes of Eluth to his sway, proclaimed himself a Tai-ke, (the
title of a Mongol nobleman,) and sent tribute to Peking. His aggressions had hitherto
remained unnoticed by the court of Peking. Soon, however, he forced himself into
notice. Account upon account arrived from all quarters, that a bloody war was on the
50 LIFE OF KANG-HE,
eve of breaking out amongst the nomadic tribes of the west, and several hordes fled
towai-ds the Chinese frontiers for protection. The multitudes increasing on the fron-
tiers of Shen-se and Sze-chuen, the emperor became more and more vigilant, and sent
his spies to the steppes : these, however, returned with very vague reports. Suddenly
there appeared on the frontiers the envoys of Kaldan. The mandarins, in examining
them, found that they were Mahommedans, and consequently spies. Being sent back
with a very severe reprimand, their master was by no means abashed, but despatched
another embassy, more splendid, and with richer presents. These tribute-bearers
declared that their sovereign had been nominated khan by the Dalai Lama, and prayed
for the sanction of Heaven's son. This was easily accorded; and Kaldan, who had
sent these men merely for the sake of spying out the country, was greatly applauded
for his obedience. He revived the title of Pochketou-khan, and was also known under
the title of Cantaish. Mongolia being filled with robbers, who carried off the cattle
and murdered the defenceless inhabitants, Kang-he gave to the chiefs the very sage
advice, that they ought to guard against the inroads of these freebooters. These
incursions were guided by the invisible hand of Kaldan, who plotted to set the princes
against one another, and then to fall upon them singly. He had fully succeeded in his
attempt, when Kang-he resolved to send splendid embassies of the most exalted noble-
men, with many precious gifts, to the principal Mongol chiefs. Kaldan was delighted to
see himself so highly honoured, but still more rejoiced that he had so fully succeeded
in fanning the flame, as to render the mission of the Chinese ambassadors entirely
futile. This Eluth prince was too great a politician to treat the Chinese envoys slightly.
Having received them with very great honours, and entertained them magnificently, he
carefully avoided even speaking upon business. With more than Chinese etiquette, he
turned all the interviews of the ambassadors into mere ceremonials, citing always prece-
dents in the Chinese court. Thus these splendid embassies ended without producing
any good effect. — 1683.
Kang-he now engaged the Dalai Lama to employ his authority for establishing
peace amongst the princes. After much trouble, they held a diet at the tents of the
prince of Merghen. Here they swore before an image of Bhudda to unite for the tran-
quillity of their territory. The endeavours of Kang-he in this respect were very
humane and laudable, and are deserving of the highest encomiums, though they were
frustrated by the treacherous Kaldan. — 1686.
EMPEROR OF C1I1NA. 51
Having been informed of this confederacy, he immediately sent hi-, emissaries to tell
the princes, that a peace forced upon them in this manner was binding to no party; but
that each of them ought to maintain his rights with a strong hand, and Bettle the differ-
ences in his own way. The emperor still hesitated what line of policy to adopt, and
provisionally addressed Kaldan in the following manner : —
" Pochetou-khan, you have, in my opinion, always proved to be sincerely submissive
by giving constant proofs of your homage; I can therefore not attach any credit to
your designs. The war you intend to wage must prove disastrous to both parties. Jint
the blood you wish to shed is precious; and the sovereign who profusely spills it,
cannot be called the father of his people. As soon as you receive this letter, endeavour
to establish a permanent peace with the Kalkas," etc.
Whilst engaged in settling these affairs, the empress-dowager died. The monarch
buried her with great state, and nominated one of the surviving consorts of his father
to fill her place. In all these matters Kang-he accommodated himself entirely to the
Chinese way of acting; and though he was an enemy of vain ceremonies, he never-
theless was very exact in observing them, to give to the Chinese no reason of complaint.
In 1688 the war finally broke out. Kaldan fell upon the Kalkas like a tiger, burnt
their tents, drove away their cattle, and killed, with the greatest cruelty, all those who fell
into his hands. His pretexts for these horrible actions were very trivial ; yet he offered
to conclude a peace as soon as his demands had been granted. The cowardly Kalkas.
instead of defending themselves, fled in consternation towards the frontiers of China,
demanding protection from the emperor, and declaring themselves his loyal subjects.
The sword was now drawn, and Kang-he, with all the vigour of a sovereign, determined
upon assisting the weak, and subjugating both the victors and conquered to his sway.
We give the details of this war in the words of the missionaries, who were best
informed upon the events which took place.
The emperor having the night before declared his intention to send a considerable
body of forces against the Eluths, many Mocders begged very much to enlist as volun-
teers. Being informed that the soldiers who constituted the army could not buy horses
except at a very excessive price, he gave them permission to procure all they could find
without the Tartar city, paying for a lean one eleven, and for a fat courser twenty taels.
This permission gave rise to much disorder. The soldiers forced persons of the highest
authority to give up their horses, mules, and camels, seized upon all the harness and
52 LIFE OF KANG-HE,
arms of which they could possibly get hold, and occasioned almost an insurrection.
Strange as this may appear to us, we ought to know that it is the duty of a Chinese
soldier to buy a part of his accoutrements, and to provide himself with everything
necessary for a campaign. Since, however, the small pay they receive does not enable
them to lay by any money for emergencies, they must have recourse to violence, in
order to obtain their outfit. The emperor, however, was this time greatly displeased
with his warriors, and allowed them to retain the horses only.
The army was commanded by princes of the blood. His majesty did them the
honour to accompany the host, with the heir-apparent and two other princes; being
attended by his whole court, all the grandees included. The train moved slowly through
the streets ; yet, as there were neither trumpets nor kettle-drums, nor any mark of
magnificence, there was something of sadness and solemnity mixed with this procession.
First marched eight or ten led-horses, with pretty plain trappings; after these, the
emperor and his children, surrounded by the body-guards ; next came twelve domestics,
who followed his majesty all the way very closely. Then marched ten officers resembling
our yeomen of the guards, each carrying on his shoulder a large halbert, the staff var-
nished with red, and spotted with gold ; near the iron head hung a tiger's tail. These
were again followed by a squadron of the life guards, who are all mandarins of their
respective ranks. After these came the officers of the crown, and other grandees of the
empire ; the procession ending with a large troop of the household, with two great
standards at their head, the streamers of which were of yellow satin, with the
emblems of the empire wrought in gold. All the streets through which the emperor
passed were swept and watered; all the gates, shops, and cross-streets were shut up;
while foot-soldiers, drawn up on both sides, each with a sword by his side and a whip in
his hand, made the people retire. This is the custom every time the emperor and heir-
apparent pass through the streets of Peking, and especially when the queens and
princesses go abroad ; for though enclosed in sedan-chairs, the people shut up the cross-
streets with mats, lest they might be observed. As soon as the emperor had passed the
suburbs, he found both sides of the high-road lined with the troops, whom he reviewed,
attended by the heir-apparent and two or three others, all the rest having halted, to
avoid raising dust. After the review, his majesty stopped for awhile to speak to his
brother and son.
Not long afterwards came the news that the Eluths had been routed in a pitched
EMPEROR OF CHIN \
battle. The commanding general, the emperor's brother, drew up too favourable fti
account of his victory — a too common practice in China, since the officers are always
sent to conquer; and if they are unable to do so in reality, it is at least done on paper.
The Chinese army had been four times the number, and Kang-he very reasonably
expected that the victory should have been more decisive. When therefore his brother
approached the capital, he was not allowed to enter. The other officers accused him of
idleness, because he minded nothing but hunting and music, whilst the general pleadi
his inability to defeat the Eluth army entirely, on account of its advantageous position.
Kang-he took away the officers' pay, degraded them from their ranks, and lowered their
title of nobility. The councillors of state lost their employment ; and the officers of
artillery, who had run away from the guns, received each 100 lashes with a whip. Since
the Tartars are all the emperor's slaves, it is no dishonour to be corrected in this way
by order of his majesty. Sometimes the chief mandarins are cuffed, kicked, and lashed
in the emperor's presence, without being disgraced, or deprived of their employment.
Slaves ought not to be treated as such, even in a court. — (1690.)
In the spring of the following year, the emperor ordered an army of observation,
numbering 50,000 men, to proceed immediately to the steppes. Most of the soldiers
are slaves, who being taught archery, serve on their masters' account, who receives
their pay, and the rewards of their heroism. All the warriors constituting the eight
banners, are permitted to buy slaves, and to employ them in this manner. Before,
however, this army could march, it was discovered that both the privates as well as the
officers were deeply in debt. The emperor was thus obliged to pay £'718,750 for the
arm}-, and £21,000 for the officers of the household, which he defrayed out of his own
coffers. But the poor slaves, who had had no share in this gratuity, assembled in the
court of the palace to the number of three or four thousand. As nobody would under-
take to deliver this petition, they continued a long time in the great court of the palace
on their knees and bareheaded, in the posture of supplicants. Hearing that the emperor
was gone into his garden, they surrounded it, loudly claiming rewards, since they were
as good soldiers as the rest. They finally grew so bold as to enter the gate, and could
only be dispersed with cudgels and whips. For this temerity one was beheaded, and
seven exposed in the pillory.
Convinced that the war could not be ended, unless the monarch himself appeared
at the head of his troops, Kang-he set out for this purpose, with his whole court, in
54 MFE OF KANG-HE,
May, 1691. Gerbillon, a French Jesuit, who, with several other missionaries, accom-
panied the monarch, has given us a faithful description of this campaign, in his diary ;
from which we shall take the liberty of making the following extracts : —
" At the first stage the emperor gave orders that I should have free access to his
apartments. Awhile after, he sent to ask me about some mathematical books which he
desired to see, saying at the same time that it was his intention, during his progress, to
revise the practical geometry, to which, he said, he had not paid sufficient attention,
since the affairs of the Eluth lay heavy on his hands. He forthwith despatched an
eunuch of his bedchamber to Peking, to fetch these books. In the evening the emperor
sent for me, and having made me sit down at his side, he proposed several questions in
geometry, and demonstrated several propositions, which he knew before, to refresh his
" On another day he sent for me to ask me several questions about the stars, but
chiefly concerning the motion of the pole-star. I showed him the maps on which
P. Pardies had set down the names of the constellations in Chinese characters. In the
evening his majesty read over above ten propositions in trigonometry with me, and by
my help understood the demonstration. When I had left him, he sent me half a cup of
wine, with strict orders to drink the whole ; and on the next day asked me whether
I had been affected by it.
" May 11th. — A little before our arrival, the emperor sent to ask me how much the
latitude of this place exceeded that of Peking, and what alteration was to be made
in the calculation of the meridian shadow.
" May 12th.— We stopped at Loo-pe-kew. Half a league before we got thither, we
found all the Chinese garrison of that fortress drawn up in order of battle on the side
of the great road. It consisted of about 800 foot and 50 horse. The emperor, after
stopping a while to view them, rode to an eminence to view their exercise. The troops
were first drawn up in eight single lines, between which was a space of five or six
paces. There were fifty or sixty small cannon, drawn by the soldiers. On both wings
of the infantry some horse were posted. They fired by a signal given from one of the
eminences, which was answered by the battalion by the sound of horns and the gong.
Certainly a battalion of such infantry could not withstand one hundred of our cavalry.
" The emperor himself was so well pleased with the adroitness of the soldiers in
shooting, that he sent to the commander a suit of clothes, such as he himself wears, and
a horse, to reward his zeal in maintaining such excellent discipline.
EMPEROR OF CHINA. 55
" May 13th. — In the evening, after I had explained some geometry to the emperor,
I presented him with the calculation of the altitude of the pole. His majesty expressed
much satisfaction, and bestowed great encomiums on the practical geometry demonstrated,
which I had composed in Mantchoo. The monarch amused himself in the intervals
with hunting, in which he showed the utmost skill. After six or seven horses had been
tired under him, he did not exhibit the least symptom of fatigue. During the drinking
parties, I observed that as often as the emperor drank, everybody fell upon his knees,
and knocked his forehead against the ground.
" He made this tour in order to meet the Kalkas princes in a general diet of the chiefs.
Information having been received, the imperial camp was fixed. The monarch's consisted
of three or four courts, or enclosures, well guarded by the body-guards stationed in
every avenue in large numbers, In the middle of an enclosure of yellow linen stood the
imperial tent, reared according to the Tartar fashion, and nearly resembling a dove-cot.
His majesty has commonly two tents ; in one he lodges, and in the other he spends the
day. They were hung with blue silk to the height of five feet, and covered on the
outside with a good thick felt, over which came a strong but pretty linen wrapper, and
over this was another linen, wrought on the top with embroidery, and only touched the
tent at the top, spreading out gradually to the borders. This was supported by wooden
poles, neatly turned, and japanned red. At the farther end of the second tent was the
emperor's bed, the testers and curtains of which were of gold brocade interwoven with
dragons ; the quilt and coverlet consisted of satin and fox-skins. Immediately around
the enclosure of the tent, the imperial household had fixed theirs, and I myself had
likewise my own. The soldiers were disposed into eighteen different quarters, each
forming a kind of gallery surrounded by the enclosure which contained the tents of the
" On the following day the different corps, led by the nobility, met at the appointed
place of rendezvous. The soldiers, headed by their respective officers, were drawn up
before the gates of their respective corps, without any other arms than their swords at
their sides. All the standards were displayed, and their bows, quivers, and muskets
placed before them. In each of the corps of musketeers were eight pieces of cannon, two
large field-pieces, very well wrought on the outside with gilding, and two small mortars—
in all, sixty-four small field-pieces. The regulas and princes were each at the head of
his corps, with the ensign of his dignity before the tent. The wang (kings) of the firsl
56 LIFE OF KANG-HE,
order, had each two great standards, of the same colours with the banners they com-
manded, besides two long pikes, with a tuft of red cow's-hair, a great streamer of the
same colour, and ten cannons, each with a banneret. All these banners and streamers
were made of satin, and the imperial dragons, flowers, and festoons were painted in
" The emperor himself reviewing this corps, ordered the infantry, consisting of
eight hundred men, to be drawn up in battle-array. Some were armed with small and
large swords, others had muskets, and the majority of the troops covered themselves
with bucklers made of wicker-work.
"The emperor then gave the signal to commence the attack, and, shielding themselves
with their bucklers, they drew their swords, rushed on the imperial body-guards, and
made them lose their ground. When they could advance no further, they stopped,
and covered their bodies with their shields. Afterwards, the emperor caused several
to fight a mock-duel ; and also tried their skill in advancing to an onset, and concealing
themselves so well with their shields as to remain invulnerable.
" On the following day, the emperor was to receive the homage of the Kalkas princes
who had fled before the murderous Eluth, and were now come to acknowledge him
formally as their liege lord. Whatever could render the scene solemn was here dis-
played to advantage. The monarch himself was dressed in a long vest of brocade on
a yellow satin ground, overlaid with dragons embroidered with silk and gold. Over
it was a vest of purple satin, whereon were four great circles, each near a foot and
a half in diameter, containing two embroidered dragons. One of these circles was
on the stomach, a second on the middle of his back, and the two others on the sleeves.
These were lined with a very fine ermine, and the collar was of a beautiful sable. His
bonnet was adorned on the forepart with a splendid pearl, and the boots were of plain
black satin. Round his neck he wore large beads of agate mixed with coral.
" The army having been drawn up, the Toosheetoo-khan, with his pontiff or kon-
touktou, approached to the door of the imperial tent. His majesty received them very
graciously, standing ; and the box, containing the seals and patents of nobility, was
brought in. They were then led to another tent, to which the emperor rode on horse-
back. His courser was covered with yellow satin, embroidered with golden dragons,
and a sort of caparison of the same kind ; the poitral and crupper were broad bands of
woven silk, with plates apparently of enamelled gold, but in reality gilt steel. He was
KMl'K.lUlIt or CHIN \.
followed by his two princes on foot, and a led-horse. Arrived at the tent, he sat down
after the Eastern fashion on an estrade cross-legged. The kings, with other princes of
the blood, were ranged, in conjunction with several Mongol princes, on the left side. On
the right were the three Mongol khans, with the pontiff at their head, the latter always
taking precedence. There were from seven to eight hundred Tae-kes or Tartar noble-
men present, ranged in long rows. As soon as the emperor entered the tent, and had
rested himself, these noblemen were led in front by the master of ceremony, who gave
the command in a loud voice, "Fall on your knees !" This being done in an instant, he
cried again, "Knock your heads against the ground !" Whereupon they touched the
earth thrice with their foreheads. " Rise up !" was the next order; and immediately
afterwards, " Kneel !" This ceremony was performed a third time with extraordinary-
agility. Only the Lamas, who pretend to be superior to common mortals, and the khans,
were exempted from performing the prostrations: of this order there were no less than
six hundred present at this ceremony. When all the formalities had been gone through,
the tables were spread ; and those noblemen who could not find a mat to sit upon,
crouched down on the bare ground. Two tables were served with gold plate for the
emperor's use- They were carried with very great ceremony to the distance of nine or
ten paces, and the cupbearer falling on his knees, presented a saucer made of agate,
and covered with gold, presented it to the emperor, after having raised it above his
head. Whilst in the act of drinking, all those present knocked heads ; the cup was
removed with the same ceremony. Shortly afterwards rope-dancers and jugglers
advanced and a puppet-show greatly amused the Kalkas noblemen.
" On the following day they received the Imperial presents, consisting of saddles,
robes of ceremony, silk piece-goods, and vessels for putting their tea in. Thus dressed
in the Mantehoo fashion, they approached the imperial throne, and performing the three
genuflexions and nine prostrations, thanked his majesty for this great favour. Every
tae-ke was ordered to pay annually ten white horses and one camel as a tribute. Festi-
vities continued for several days. The emperor gave orders to the army to appear in
review, armed with helmets and cuirasses. The latter are made of the finest steel, and
beautifully polished ; the cuirass consists of two pieces : one is a sort of under-petticoat,
which is girt about the body, and reaches below the knee, covering, when on horseback,
all the limbs ; the other piece is like the ancient coats of armour, with longer sleeves
only, that reach to the wrist. All the great lords, officers, and private troopers, have
hS LIFE OF KANG-HE,
a small banderolle of silk, of the colour of their respective standards, fastened behind
their casques and to the back of their cuirass: on it is written the name, company, and
office of the wearer.
" On the emperor's approach, the Tartars blew a kind of trumpet, which gave a very
discordant sound. These are great tubes of copper, eight or nine feet long, terminating
like our trumpets. The Tartars make use of these instruments to give the signal for
battle ; a single man is not able to manage it, and one must hold it up in the air with
a kind of fork, whilst the other blows it. The cavalry of both wings extended them-
selves in the form of a crescent, as if it were to surround the enemy. The infantry
ran directly forward — the first of them with drawn sabres, covered themselves with
bucklers. In the middle of the battalion of foot, the artillery moved on, and in the
centre came the dragoons, who had alighted : for though they march on horseback, they
fight on foot. They advanced thus in good order till they came near the emperor,
where they were ordered to halt. After they had given three or four volleys from the
cannon and muskets, the cavalry halted ; and when they had resumed their ranks, which
had been broken a little by such a hasty march, they remained for some time before the
pavilion. This is the manner in which the Chinese army attacks; and it was here
displayed, to convince the Kalkas that the Celestial troops had sufficient skill for pro-
tecting the most numerous hordes. After this his majesty showed his great adroitness
in archery. He instituted horse-racing and wrestling, and most condescendingly
received the visits of the Mongol females, under the pleasing sounds of music. Kang-
he, entirely intent upon conciliating the affection of these tribes, visited in person their
camp, where misery stared him everywhere in his face. He had a long conference with
the Koutouktou, and recommended peace and amity. Being upon the point of taking
leave, the khans and their tae-kes stood in two lines at the entrance of the camp.
Whilst his majesty passed, they fell upon their knees, but the monarch addressed them
with great familiarity. A great multitude of poor Kalkas, reduced to the last degree
of misery, presented themselves on the roadside, and prayed for relief. The emperor
afforded this willingly, after having inquired into their condition. Kang-he despatched
at the same time deputies to the Kaldan, to inquire about his intention in taking pos-
session of a country not belonging to him, and threatening vengeance if he dared to
attack his faithful subjects the Kalkas. Upon one condition only, that of returning
quietly to his country, he would forgive his transgression, and again receive him amongst
I'M ri ROB OF CHIN I.
the number of his vassals. — Kang-he, liowever, well aware that many a Chinese ;mn\
had been ruined by marching too precipitately into the desert, did everything in his
power to prevent a rupture with the Kaldan, which would have obliged him to traverse
the steppes. But whilst he negotiated, this unruly chief levied contributions, collected
troops, and drew up in a menacing attitude on the frontiers of the steppes. So great
was his chagrin at the perfidy of this disturber, that Kang-he fell seriously ill.
"Trusting, however, more to European skill than to bis own doctors, he graduaiU
recovered; but, unfortunately, he was attacked afterwards by an intermittent fever. An
order was immediately issued to command all the people in Peking and the environs,
who were afflicted with a similar complaint, to appear in the precincts of the palace,
that the physicians might try their skill upon them ; whilst the doctors were enjoined to
produce their nostrums. The concourse of quacks and empirics was immense. Amongst
the most celebrated was a priest, who, having obtained a cup of water from the deepest
well, whilst dancing and making many grimaces, held it towards the sun, and murmuring
some charms, surely hoped to restore all patients. The result of his incantations and his
practice was, that the wise physicians could not recommend a specific which might stand
the test. At the same time the Jesuits administered the Peruvian bark, and the patient
suddenly recovered. His majesty having been informed of the efficacy of this remedy,
would himself have taken it, if his son and heir had not violently opposed himself. The
trial was therefore first made upon four grandees, who had no complaint at all, and
since they themselves did not experience any ill consequences, the emperor took the
same, and recovered. The board of punishments sentenced three physicians who had
advised his majesty to allow nature to have her own course, to death; a judgment in
which Kang-he did not coincide — but he rewarded the missionaries with a house, and
published an edict upon their zeal and fidelity.
" Business, during the whole time of Kang-he's illness, was at a stand ; and the
Kaldan used this interval to the best advantage. In order to attract the Tartars of the
west to his interests, he became a Mahommedan, and henceforth persecuted the Lamas
with fire and sword. Levying contributions upon the cowardly princes of the south, he
grew every day in power and wealth. The chief of the Korehin horde kept up a very
intimate connection — others rather chose to subject themselves of their own accord, than
any longer to provoke hostilities by resistance. Kang-he wished to intimidate this
warlike khan, by detachments sent in different directions into the desert: but Kaldan
GO LIFE OF KANG-HE,
was too great a politician to be frightened at a mere bugbear. His principle was, to act
as suited his own interests best, and to talk always fair and engaging. No terms could
be kept with such an enemy ; and it was on that account that Kang-he led, in 1696, his
troops into Tartary. He took with him six of his children, but left behind the heir
of the crown, to rule in his absence. The train was less pompous than might have been
expected, and the most severe discipline enforced. He ordered that only one meal per
day should be cooked, and no fires made during the night, in order to surprise the
enemy by a sudden assault He reprimanded the lords for having shown so little regard
to his orders, and threatened the most exemplary punishment to every one, his own sons
included, who should transgress against his orders. Exposed to all the rigour of the
season, this monarch never complained, but ate his scanty meal. There were also some
Lamas in his train ; these were commanded to pray that the continual rains might finally
cease. But though they had engaged themselves to effect this great end, the rain poured
down only in more heavy showers. Upbraided with their perfidy, they answered,
The spirits which preside over the springs, rivers, and waters of the country, were
come to meet the emperor.
" The monarch's mind was grieved to see his envoys return from the Kaldan. They
had to tell a dreadful tale of the sufferings which this tyrant had made them undergo.
Nearly famished, they earnestly begged to be killed, that their misery might end. They
were then fed with carrion, and afterwards, under a very strong escort, sent back on
foot. But, notwithstanding this rude treatment of the national representatives, the
Kaldan sent a very polite letter, to cloke all his crimes."
Since we have only one version of this story, and the Chinese are not very celebrated
for their adherence to truth, it would be presumptuous to assert that there were no
provocations on the part of the Celestials. It may be reasonably supposed that such
a great politician as the Kaldan would not provoke, wantonly, a powerful monarch like
Kang-he. Tyrant and vile traitor as he appears to have been, he was only too anxious
to conciliate the Chinese authorities, in order to subject, with greater ease, the Mongols
to his sway.
"Several other detachments having advanced in different directions, one great point
of junction was determined upon ; but, after a fatiguing march of three months, provi-
sions began to fail, and the emperor was in doubt whether to advance or retreat.
In this emergency, there arrived messengers stating that the Kaldan, with an army
EMPEROB of cm NA. 6]
of 10,000 men was not far distant, and perfectly ignorant of the march of the Manti hoo
troops. Kang-he immediately resolved upon a battle. He remitted to all officers the
half-year's pay they had received in advance, gave to the cavalry the horses, which, on
their return, they would have been obliged to deliver up, and animated the troop- to
behave bravely. The Chinese soldiers, however, unaccustomed to such great fatigueB,
had been previously sent back, as unfit; and it could not be expected that the Tartars
would be much longer able to endure such a harassing campaign. Under these critical
circumstances, the bleached bones of so many thousand Celestial warriors strewed about
in the desert, called to mind the most horrible idea of death. Though ready to engage the
Eluth forces, Kang-he tried again, by envoys, to compromise matters. A squadron of the
household troops constituted the van, the artillery and dragoons followed, the third
line consisted of the remainder of the Chinese infantry, the 3,000 Mongol horse, and
several squadrons of household troops, armed with muskets and bows, made up the
wings. The second and third line took up nearly a league in extent, but the first was
much closer. The emperor marched in the second line, attended by his life-guards and
the officers of his household. As a great multitude of servants followed the squadrons,
leading their masters' horses, it had the appearance of a very numerous host, though
there were no more than 120,000 effective troops. Gerbillon, who describes the splen-
dour of this army, would be astonished to behold in our days a Chinese or Mantchoo
corps, than which nothing can be more motley.
" News of the flight of the Kaldan having arrived, the emperor withdrew with the
flower of the army, and sent one detachment in pursuit of the enemy. The soldiers
composing it suffered incredible hardship, the cavalry being obliged to dismount, not
even excepting the principal officers, and forced to live upon horses' and camels'
flesh. But mark the wonderful exploits of this famished host. They came up with the
Eluths, who were well fed and in high spirits, broke through their ranks, notwith-
standing the utmost bravery of the enemy, and dispersed the whole army. Kaldan
escaped with 200 men To believe this extraordinary story, we ought to have been an
eye-witness of the total rout of the Eluth.
" The messenger who brought this account to Kang-he was received with great
rejoicings. The letter was publicly read ; and now behold the gratitude of a pagan
prince ! A table was brought, placed in the middle of the arch before the emperor's
tent, with incense and wax tapers. His majesty stood alone before the table, with his
62 LIFE OF KANG-HE,
face towards the tent, and his five sons immediately behind him. He then took a cup
of brandy, raised it towards heaven with both hands, poured it upon the ground, and
prostrated himself three times. The grandees afterwards performed their genuflexions
and prostrations before the monarch, to express the joy they felt at this unexpected
event. The booty of 6,000 oxen, from 60,000 to 70,000 sheep, and 3,000 camels, could
never have come at a more seasonable time. Kang-he himself was not a little astonished
at this extraordinary turn of affairs, and ascribed the victory to the interposition of
heaven, and the unexpected success to the despair of his soldiers.
" The misfortune which Kaldan met must have been very severe, for many of his
vassals surrendered themselves to the Chinese, and his whole remaining army was so
small, that scarcely a trace could be found of it. Still, however, Kang-he was very
much afraid that this intriguing prince would soon gain new adherents. He therefore
addressed expostulatory letters to the Mongol princes and the Thibetians, earnestly
dissuading them from a league with this rebel. Some of these admonitions are paternal,
and breathe a peaceful and noble spirit. Promises were at the same time made to the
khan, that if he submitted himself peacefully, he should be treated with the customary
compassion of the Celestial empire. Flattered by these promises, an envoy appeared
at court, who delivered a most humble speech to the monarch, and with great servility
asked forgiveness of all the wrongs done. Kang-he's answer was, that the prince
himself ought to come, because that negociations carried on by public messengers were
greatly prolonged. Kaldan was too great a fox to enter the lion's den ; and whilst
engaging the king of Thibet and the Kokonor Tartars in his favour, he again plied the
Chinese emperor with negociations, which ended in nothing. In the meanuhile his son,
a boy of fourteen years, was treacherously taken prisoner by the Mahommedan bey of
Hami, and delivered up to the emperor. Thus there was an hostage for the fidelity of
" It was now become indispensably necessary to influence the politics of the court of
Thibet. Kang-he having forwarded several pastoral letters to the king and dalai lama,
received as polite answers. The Kaldan having many adherents in that country, it was
justly to be feared that a new insurrection would require a second campaign into the
desert, which of all things the monarch detested. How great was then his joy, when
a koutouktou arrived as the envoy of the pontiff and king. Never did Kang-he bestow
so many honours upon the ambassador of any nation as on this nuncio. Like a Roman
EMPEROB 01 i III N \ ■ 63
cardinal, this koutouktou understood politics better than the emperor. lie first revealed
to him a great many secrets, which turned out to be beguiling falsehoods, and delivered
a secret parcel, which contained, upon being opened at a stated period, a representation
of the last incarnate Buddha. Unfortunately the head fell off, to the great consterna-
tion of the devout Mongols who were present. Now it was known that some of the
priests had played tricks with the dalai lama, and that the last regeneration had not
taken place in the proper order. But Kang-he would have smiled at these absurdities,
if he had not known too well, that the transmigration was the effect of the cabals of
Kaldan and his adherents. The koutouktou, however, was such an impudent envoy,
that he bore the reproach of perfidy with indifference, and served his masters most
effectually by working upon the superstition of Kang-he and his Mongol vassals.
"Recourse was again had to arms. A sudden attack upon the territories of Tungaria
and Turkestan, made the Mahommedan princes who were in league with Kaldan
tremble. This campaign, which Kang-he directed from a considerable distance, laid
the foundation of the Chinese power in Turkestan. The army might a second time
have been starved in search of the Kaldan, and the emperor would have been obliged
to put a stop to these too eager researches after the fugitive, if the author of so much
bloodshed had not died on a sudden. — (1697.)
" Borne down by misfortune, unable to resist his many enemies, and still less to
satisfy his unbounded ambition, this prince finally fell into a state of melancholy, which
grew upon him with every day : from this he never recovered. He thus became a victim
to his own vicious propensities, and died a warning example to all aspiring great men.
" Honoured by the congratulations and the servile flattery of his whole court, Kang-he
pronounced a speech from the throne, in which he depicted, in very 'lively colours, the
dangers by which China had been surrounded. This Kaldan had overcome Turkestan,
and dispersed the Kalkas tribes within a very short time. There was no power which
could effectually resist him, no nation able to arrest his victories. The courtiers, pene-
trated by the grandeur of the prince, proposed that he should change the "Neen-haow,"
or title of his reign, because it had been so very glorious. To this proposition Kang-he
would never agree ; his praise was not in pompous words, but dignified actions.
<; After such unheard-of success, Kang-he endeavoured to extirpate the rebels, root and
branch. He therefore gave orders to his general in Loungaria to attack the adherents
of Kaldan, wherever he was able to find them ; and sent a peremptory letter to Tse-
64 LIFE OF KANG-HE,
wang-raptan, his most powerful vassal, to deliver up the body of the Kaldan, his daughter,
and several noblemen. This prince was then engaged in a war with the Kirghis, and
most contemptuously answered the emperor that he might have the body of Kaldan, which
was useless to either party ; but as for surrendering his daughter, the crime of treason
could not be fixed upon persons of her sex, and his followers, whom the emperor desired
him to give up, were too useful in the present war to be sacrificed to a mere whim.
" The council, under the sanction of Kang-he, decreed, that the bones of this wicked
destroyer, the Kaldan, should be burnt, and scattered to the winds, whilst his head
should be sent and exhibited to the Mongols, as a warning example to terrify others
from rising in insurrection.
" After many ineffectual attempts to defer the giving up of the princess, the daughter
of Kaldan, Tse-wang-raptan was finally obliged by the growing influence of the Chinese
to surrender the princess. Kang-he, though advised to put her, with her brother, to
death, treated the lady kindly, and had her properly married to a nobleman, whilst her
brother enlisted in the life-guards, and was considered as a prince. In this generous
act, Kang-he was far above the nation he ruled — none of his successors has imitated him ;
for, up to this day, the whole family of a traitor is delivered over to death. — (1701.)
" Tse-wang-raptan alone refused to submit, on any account, or under any promises,
to the Chinese empire. Too weak, however, to undertake anything against the provinces,
he all at once invaded Thibet, under the pretence that the Tipa, or secular prince, had
lost all authority, and the dalai lama usurped the whole power. The lamas were treated
with unheard-of cruelty, bound upon horses and mules, and sent to Tartary; whilst the
temples were plundered, and the monasteries burnt. The Chinese appeared also here
as protectors ; and, from this moment dates the influence which has ended in the sub-
jugation of the whole country.
"Seren Kaldan, the son of Tse-wang-raptan, was animated with the unruly spirit of
his ancestor, and gave rise to many feuds and wars ; but this war also died away, and all
the eastern Eluth tribes came finally as humble supplicants to ask pardon and peace.
" At the commencement of Kang-he's reign the empire was shaken to its very foun-
dation; when he had governed forty years, the troubles were not only quelled, but the
fiercest tribes tamed, and the limits of the empire widened to such an extent as they
had never been before. Kang-he did not exult at his success, but only endeavoured to
consolidate his newly-acquired dominions."
1 Mil ROD OF I 11INA.
DlSTl KB \\i ES WITH Til 1: lit SS] INS.
The two most extensive empires in the world are China and Russia, and both
may be said to have bordered upon one another, without the knowledge of the subjects
and princes of the two countries. We do not know what tempted a Cossack to conquer
for the Czar the icy fields of Siberia. Those parts he subjugated to the sway of his
master were ruled by Mongol princes, who were connected with the inhabitants of the
steppes. Rut the Russians had been for a considerable time in possession of the
inhospitable land, before they could find their way to China. That there existed such
a country, nobody doubted; but to find a road thither was more than the Cossacks
were able to effect. Several expeditions having been despatched for that purpose,
the discovery of the land of Katai was nearly given up as a hopeless enterprise. It
was at all events considered necessary to push on towards the East, for China was there
situated, and to found there some settlements, from which trade might be carried on
to the Celestial Empire.
The patience of the Russians at length overcame all obstacles; and, though they
had to contend for twenty years against hostile tribes, they nevertheless settled the
colony of Nertchinsky, near the Amour. Some of the tribes had reported to the
Russians that a Daourian prince had in his country silver mines. An expedition was
therefore set on foot in 1643, in order to discover either that country or similar coun-
tries. This troop issued from Yakoutsk with great eagerness, for the object of their
research; and, though the adventurers were told by the Rourist merchants, that the
money in their possession came from China through the hands of the Mongul, they
would have it, once for all, that there must be silver mines in the East. Having armed
at the Seia, a stream which falls into the Amour, Petrov the commander took
captive a native chief, and instituted inquiries about those silver treasures which
nobody could point out. Shortly afterwards, their whole stock of provisions was
exhausted, and the aborigines, forced to furnish them, attacked the Russians. The
result of this disturbance was starvation to the adventurers. It is even asserted, that the
Cossacks were obliged to feed upon the bodies of the natives slain in the conflict.
Nothing could exceed the perseverance of the leader of this expedition ; he descended
G6 LIFE OF KANG-HE,
the Amour, and returned by sea to Tungusia. Though this enterprise had been very
perilous, others took the same route. The most celebrated amongst them, Khabaroo,
having ascended the Amour, took possession by storm of a fort belonging to a Daourian
prince, and, for the first time, met a Mantchoo collector of taxes. The usurper
bestowed the name of Ghoghandan upon this fort, took a second, and reduced the
inhabitants of the borders of this river tributary.
Their cruelty and aggression were met everywhere by the determined hostility of the
natives ; and when they were obliged to take up their winter-quarters on the banks of
the Amour, the aborigines cut off all provisions. Having built a fort to defend them-
selves against the inclemency of the weather, orders were given by the commanding
Mantchoo general to catch them alive, and bring them armed to his tent. But these
heroes were rather mistaken in their valour, and in the cowardice of the Russians, who
had powder and ball. The whole squadron of Mantchoos was routed in a sudden assault
from the besieged, who took their cannon, matchlocks, and colours. — (1652.)
As, however, nothing but fish could be procured at this place, the adventurers
resolved upon returning to Yakoutsk. On their way home they were met by no less
than 6.000 Mantchoos, stationed on the Chinghal river ; but instead of again measuring
their strength with this formidable host, they passed them under press of sail. Kha-
barov met, fortunately, a reinforcement of men and provisions before he had arrived at
Yakoutsk ; and this happy circumstance determined him upon looking out for a place
where he might establish a permanent settlement. Accounts of the success of this
expedition having reached Moscow, the Czar deputed Prince Lobanov, with 3,000
natives from the banks of the Dwina, in order to colonize the regions about the Amour,
Khabarov and his followers were richly rewarded with golden medals, and every encou-
ragement given to render this new settlement as flourishing as possible.
Yery exaggerated accounts having been circulated about this new colony, great
crowds of Siberians, and numbers of vagabonds, flocked thither, so that the government
was obliged to prevent the emigration by an armed force. Three forts, one at the junc-
tion of the Seia, another at the Ourka, and a third between these two, were shortly after-
wards erected ; whilst one of the community of colonists, called Chetchigin, was deputed
envoy to the court of Peking. The Russian government, moreover, issued orders for
the cultivation of the soil near the settlements, and for the conversion of the natives to
Christianity. Various circumstances, however, concurred to procrastinate the cultivation
EMPEROR OF CHINA. 67
of the land. Provisions becoming very scarce, Stephanov undertook an expedition up
the Chinghal stream, in order to procure them. Here lie was met !.\ a Mantchoo-
Chinese army, whilst the Daourians on both banks of the river annoye I him constantly
by their darts. After having defeated the enemy's flotillas, he was obliged reluctantly to
turn his steps, and had still the mortification to learn, that the envoy with his Buite had
been murdered by the Daourians. Reduced to extremities, the governor of the (
lishment retired, during the winter of 1655, into a fort called Kamarskig, where he was
besieged by an army of 10,000 Chinese and Mantchoos. These heroes attempted with
great ardour to reduce the place, but the Russian cannon was too well directed. They
were finally obliged to decamp, with the satisfaction that they had done their utmost to
bring these stubborn barbarians to reason. There remained very little hope of main-
taining these settlements ; but the rich furs, obtained from the natives, prompted the
supreme government to continue the colony. New reinforcements arrived from the
mother-country, and in 1G58 the Russians founded Nertchinsk (Nipchou) near the con-
fluence of the Inghoda and Amour. But in the same year, Stephanov encountered,
unexpectedly, a Chinese fleet upon the Amour. His people were panic-struck — some
fled, others surrendered, others sold their lives dear.
So many misfortunes could not damp the ardour and cut off the hopes of the
Russians. They were in search of furs, and, to obtain these, the adventurers were ready
to undertake every thing. Xew settlers hastened towards the river, so that those who
fell by the sword, or perished by hunger, were constantly recruited. The Chinese
government finally determined upon vigorous measures, in order to drive this dangerous
enemy from the frontiers. In vain did the Czar endeavour to conclude a treaty by an
embassy; his envoy was sent back, because he refused to perform the kotow. Since,
however, matters in 1688 had come to a crisis, Golowin Okolnitz arrived as plenipoten-
tiary for settling the quarrels about the frontiers. Ivang-he, who had been very anxious
to discard all causes of dissension, deputed his own uncle and a lieutenant-general to
settle the question, while two missionaries, Perceira and Gerbillon, joined them as poli-
The emperor treated the latter most graciously, by presenting them with splendid
robes of ceremony, and wishing them a prosperous voyage. Even the heir of the crown
did them the honour of accompanying the mission to some distance from Peking, whilst
the mandarins and Mongol princes, through whose territory the embassy passed, showed
68 LIFE OF RAXG-HE,
them the greatest honours : the plenipotentiaries were even admitted to an audience
with the incarnate divinity, the Koutouktou, a boy of seven years. This was the only
rude personage they met with on their whole road.
The reader, however, ought not to imagine, that this was a mere ceremonial mission.
The whole consisted of three caravans, which took different roads, and were accompa-
nied by armed soldiers, in order to give effect to the negociations. The different parties
were to meet in the Kalkas country ; but having nearly arrived at the place of desti-
nation, the ambassadors were recalled, because the war with the Eluths had already
broken out. The place of conference was then changed from Selinga to Nipchou.
The first expedition had exposed the grandees to so many hardships, that they heard
with great joy that the negociations were to be carried on at Nipchou, where they were
despatched the next year. The train of the ambassadors consisted of about eight or
nine thousand men, three thousand of whom were soldiers, one hundred and fifty
officers, with twelve thousand horses and three thousand camels. This looked more
like an army marching to the field of battle, than a peaceful mission. Kang-he, aware
that, as long as things continued in the present state, he would be obliged to maintain
an army of observation on the Amour, and wage a continual war against the encroach-
ments of the Russians ; he wished, therefore, to settle matters by a coup-dc-main, and,
instead of negociating, dictate, once for all, a peace. For such measures the Russians
were not at all prepared.
Man seems in all times to be the same. He disputes with the same obstinacy the
possession of the torrid regions under the equator, or the ice-fields of the pole, instead
of enjoying the gifts which God so profusely scatters.
On meeting, both parties assumed to have the original right to the disputed terri-
tory. The Russians, who appear to have been more moderate in their demands, wishing
to make the Amour the boundary, and retaining all the country on the northern banks.
As this, however, very much interfered with the fur trade, the Chinese insisted upon
their ceding all the country beyond the Selinga, inclusive of Nipchou and Yaksa, two
fortresses. This was demanding too much; and the negociations were broken off.
The Chinese army immediately advanced, which forced the Russians to listen to
another proposal, more congenial to the wishes of the Chinese : on one side,
a chain of mountains marked by the Kerbetchi, a rivulet, and on the other side the
Ergone stream, were to be considered the boundaries. All the countries to the north
KMPEROR OF CHINA. 69
were to belong to the Russians, and the territory to the south to the Mantchoos. There
only remained an intermediate mountainous district, upon which the envoys could not
The Mantchoos had again recourse to their former stratagem, by advancing with
the army. This time, however, the Russians answered them in plain terms, that they
would repel force by force ; and such a declaration was sufficient to frighten the
Chinese plenipotentiary, who immediately abated his demands. By Gerhillon's good
offices, their minds were again reconciled, and the missionaries now took it upon them-
selves to accelerate the conclusion of peace. In this praiseworthy endeavour they
succeeded to the fullest extent of their wishes. It was stipulated that the Russian
monarch should not be called by any inferior title, that his envoys should not be subject
to any humiliating ceremonies at Peking, and be permitted to deliver their credentials
into the hands of the emperor. During their residence at court they were to enjoy full
liberty, and not to be treated with any indignity. Free commerce to be granted between
both nations ; only the last article was to be inserted, and the others remitted to a fur-
ther conference at the court. The fort Yaksa was to be levelled to the ground. All
obstacles of disagreement having been removed, the Chinese as well as Russians swore
both most solemnly in the name of the Most High, that this treaty should be main-
tained. The plenipotentiaries then embraced each other under the sound of martial
music, and both parties partook of a collation on the Russian frontier. Kang-he was
rejoiced that he had so fully succeeded in obtaining his demands. Even at the evening of
his life he could not forget to glory in his political wisdom, and said, " Since I ascended
the throne, I have directed military operations to a great extent ; I have crushed rebels ;
I have taken possession of Formosa; 1 have humbled the Russians!"
Kang-he was not aware that an emperor of a congenial spirit was seated on Russia's
throne. Men of such capacious minds, so intent upon the welfare of their subjects,
ought to have embraced each other, and co-operated in making them happy. To such
a perfection political science had not yet arrived. Both viewed each other with suspi-
cion, and never corresponded with each other with that cordiality which ought to exist
between great men.
Russian caravans for a number of years had been in the habit of repairing to the
Peking fair, like those of the Mongol tribes ; the merchants were well treated, and
enjoyed great liberties. Some difficulties, however, had arisen ; and Peter the Great
LIFE OF KANG-HE,
sent, in 1692, Yubrant Ides as ambassador to the Peking court. He was well received,
and Kang-he, so far from putting any childish questions to him, examined the envoy
upon the state of Europe, the improvements and civilization of Russia, its resources,
finances, &c. ; at which the ambassador was greatly astonished. Yet even the most
exalted monarch on China's throne could not dispense with the ko-tow.
This favourable aspect in the political horizon was, however, soon obscured by new
encroachments on the part of the Russians. In the hope that the Chinese would
overlook their extending their hunts for fur-animals, they built a fortress on the same spot
where the former Albazin had stood, and quietly went on in their daily occupations. All
on a sudden, Kang-he put a stop to the fur trade, and gave strict orders to the Mongols
to range along the Amour, and catch as many fur-animals as they possibly could get.
Albazin was taken by surprise, and the inhabitants transported to Peking. To show
the ability of Chinese soldiers in blockading a fort, we ought to be informed that they
were three years before the place, ere they were able to carry it. Peter the Great was
at that time too much engaged in Europe to send his hard-pressed Cossacks assistance,
and the fort fell.
Since the government furs sold in Europe to disadvantage, the Russian monarch was
only too anxious to re-open the trade, and sent therefore, in 1719, his ambassador
ImailafF, to conclude a commercial treaty. The sufferings of this mission in crossing the
desert were intolerable; and, after having endured so many hardships, the ambassador
was delighted at being received with military honours on entering Peking. Kang-he
was much rejoiced at receiving, in his advanced age, such proofs of respect from the
greatest prince of Europe. It was at the same time found necessary to recommence
the legal trade, for, notwithstanding the prohibition, an extensive illicit traffic had been
carried on upon the frontiers. Admitted to an audience, the ambassador had previously
most obstinately refused to perform the ko-tow, and was taken entirely by surprise when
the master of the ceremony forced him down to prostrate, and bow the knee. After this
disagreeable ceremony had passed, Kang-he was all affability. He had been informed
about the great exploits of the Czar; and, whilst he bestowed due eulogies upon the
actions of that great prince, he wondered that he should expose himself to the dangers
of a stormy ocean. Kang-he, reflecting on his old age, expressed his earnest desire to
make his peace with all mankind, and was, on that account, very gracious. As soon,
however, as the ambassador had departed, and De Lange, his secretary, remained behind
EMPEItOK OF CHINA. 71
as charge-d' affaires, matters took a very different turn. We believe that Kang-he was
ignorant of the manifold annoyances which this envoy suffered. Access to the throne
having been denied, the secretary was obliged to bear all indignities with patience; yet
finally wearied out, and being unable to do any good, he was forced to retire from this
inhospitable city. Whilst the mandarins declared that the trade was worth nothing,
they took good care that it should pass through their hands. To realize this great
object, they put so many obstacles in the way, that finally a commissioner was appointed,
who fixed their own price upon the goods. Other circumstances brought on a crisis.
The king of Urga complained about the Russian merchants, who flocked in great
numbers to his camp. Several oppressed Mongol tribes had passed over to the Russian
frontiers, whilst spies and emissaries fanned the flame of discord. It was therefore not
unlikely that a rupture between the two countries was unavoidable ; but the death of
both great princes prevented the breaking out of hostilities.
Yung-ching, Kang-he's successor, granted various liberties to the Russian traders;
and whilst permitting a permanent mission to reside in the capital, he maintained the
commercial treaty. Though afterwards frequently on the eve of declaring war, the
Russians wisely abstained from crossing the dreary desert with an army, which would
have shared the same fate as so many hosts before them.
If Kang-he was a wise prince, God indeed gave success to his enterprises. For had
it not been his special providence which prevented the invasion of a Russian army, he
would, with all his wisdom, not have been able to prevent it. A host of well-disciplined
troops would not so very easily have been scattered, as the hordes of Kaldan. There
were malcontents sufficient in number to join in any daring enterprise ; and it would not
have been very improbable that a total revolution might have been effected.
All these chances seem to have been constantly before the eyes of the monarch.
Hence he acted both with decision and caution, always avoiding to irritate his enemies
by driving them to despair, whilst he succeeded in striking terror, and defeating their
machinations. In the quarrel itself both parties were equally wrong: both the Chinese
and Russians contested for a piece of ground belonging to independent tribes ; but
the stronger established his claim successfully.
Upon the accession of Yong-ching, several of the wise institutions of his illustrious
father were invaded, and all his liberal policy reversed. Foreign commerce was again
restricted; idolatry restored to its pristine predominance; and, in the year 1724, the
72 LIFE OF KANG-HE, EMPEROR OF CHINA.
exercise of the Christian religion wholly prohibited ; nor was toleration re-admitted by
the succeeding monarch, Kien-lung A great conqueror, and, in many respects, an
amiable man, the new emperor devoted his energies to the extension of his dominions ;
Cashgar and Yarkand were added to the empire in his reign, along with parts of Son-
garia, Thibet, and Lassa. The petty empires of Miao-tse and Siao-kin-tshun, were also
absorbed by the Chinese, which was now bounded by Hindoostan and Bocharia. The
Calmucs country becoming desert by the expulsion of the Songarians, Kien-lung re-
peopled it with the fugitive Torgots and Songarians from Russia. In 1768, however,
his army sustained a signal check from the Burmese, from which they did not recover
during the war: but, contenting himself with the reputation of having retained pos-
session for a while of a single town in the enemy's country, the emperor retired from
the conflict, having lost one-half of his army.
Persecution on account of religion continued with unabated zeal and cruelty under
Kien-lung; but, at his death in 1799, the light of freedom in matters of conscience once
more beamed over the land. The new emperor, Kien-king, fifteenth son of the deceased
sovereign, was a decided favourer of the Christians ; but the inconsiderate conduct of
the Catholics exposed them to the machinations of their enemies, ar.d caused the reign
of their august patron to be agitated incessantly by civil commotions. In the year 1820,
this virtuous prince was succeeded on the throne by his second son, Taou-kwang,
(Reason's Glory,) whose reign is rendered memorable in history by the commercial
treaty which Queen Victoria compelled him to accept.
THE KIN -SHAN, OR GOLDEN ISLAND.
ON THE YANG-TSE-KIAXG RIVEH
Amid Pagodas' sheen and shadowing woods,
On Kiang's Rock, his wave-engirdled cage,
The Rajah- King of million-multitudes
Founded, in hermit mood, a hermitage
There while he mused, at gilded courts would smile,
A shrine more blest than they — his Gulden Isle.
C. J. c
The intersection of the Imperial Canal with the Yang-tse-kiang, in the immediate
vicinity of Qua-tchow, is distinguished by a remarkable concentration of objects, both
beautiful and interesting. The Kin-shan, or Golden Island, celebrated for its peculiar
sanctity, its pictorial charms, its imperial favour, is known in the remotest provinces of
China; nor even amongst a people of much superior taste, or in a country of far higher
scenic pretensions, could an object so picturesque have failed to attract admiration.
Whether the epithet " Golden" is borrowed from its sunny site, or originated in some
tradition of its metallic treasures, is now difficult to determine, but the proximity of
another pyramidal rock, called " Vin-shan," or The Silver Island," rather upholds the
This favoured "Isle of Beauty," rises majestically above the broad flood of the
Kiang, which here presents an everlasting scene of animation, from the arrival and
departure of barges, boats, and other vessels, trading with the busy entrepot of Qua-
tchow. The most elevated point of the island does not probably exceed three hundred
feet — the circuit of its rocky shores extends about fifteen hundred; its sides, steep,
precipitous, but fertile, are adorned with the most luxuriant vegetation and foliage :
the sacred temples that rise from the one, are embraced by the shade of the other, and
their tapering proportions alone break the continuous mass of verdure that clothes the
whole pyramid, and, descending in graceful forms, sweeps with tender sprays the
waves that ripple on the beach. Temples, and towers, and bonze-houses, peep forth from
the embosoming woods, while a graceful pagoda, of the most exquisite structure, sur-
mounts the highest point. Wherever civilization has established a stable tenure, there
the ministers of religion appear to have selected, for the setting up of the altar and
accommodation of its servants, those retreats best suited to holy meditation ; but in so
doing have evidently paid a faithful homage to the fairest forms and chiefest acquisitions
of nature. Christian monasteries are not only the most sumptuous works of art, but have
been uniformly raised in the richest and most romantic districts of every enlightened land.
In this respect, the Chinese have not exercised less diligence, taste, and judgment, than
the priesthood of Christian countries : and the picturesque circumstances of their idol-
houses and dwellings, have at all times induced that class of travellers to deviate from
the highway to their gaudy shrines, from which the most liberal contributions were to
Richly adorned with luxuriant trees of every species known in the province of
Kiang-nan, the aspect of this bright isle is further broken and beautified by the most
fantastic architectural forms. Here the disciples of Confucius, Laokien, and Fo, have
erected temples to their respective deities; while the delicate pagoda, a feature for ages
identified with Chinese landscape, lends increased dignity to the majestic form of the
whole composition. The double-roofed building, overshadowed by weeping branches,
and standing on the margin of the river, was formerly the dwelling of Bonzes, but it is
more than probable that these impostors were compelled to migrate when the emperor
Kien-lung built a villa here, and laid out a moiety of the island in pleasure-grounds,
disposed after the peculiar manner of landscape-gardening prevalent amongst the
Chinese. It was the whim of this capricious autocrat to visit occasionally the southern
provinces of his vast empire, and the locality of Qua-tchow being salubrious and
remarkably picturesque, was selected as suitable for the erection of an imperial lodge.
Near to that flourishing city, and at a place called " Woo-yuen,"or" The Five Gardens,"
a palace was immediately raised, which continued, with little interruption, to be the
favourite retreat of majesty for many successive years. Its spacious grounds were
adorned with pavilions, grouped or isolated, communicating by corridors, or other minor
constructions, together with flower-beds, artificial ruins, factitious rocks, and hollowed
grottoes. A meandering river, crossed bv numerous bridges, and conducted ingeniously
through all the intricacies of this fairy labyrinth, at one time contracted between wooded
banks, at another expanded into lakes with islands floating on their glassy surfaces, com-
pletes the inconceivable illusion as to extent and intervening distances. The principle
of deception so successfully matured in Chinese landscape-gardening, by which space
acquires apparent extension, from an increased number of intervening objects or ideas,
TI1L' KIN-SHAN, Oil GOLDEN ISLAND. 7
appears to have been borrowed from an analogous mode of measuring time adopted
by philosophers, namely, the number of intervening ideas.
Although tbe fairest formations at Woo-yuen have been effaced, and time has spared
little more than the material atoms of the extraordinary designs here pictorially illus-
trated, one apartment is still jealously preserved, and shown to travellers with an air of
pomp and mystery: this is the library in which the great Kien-lung once sought rest
" Public noise and factious strife,
And all the busy ills of life."
Here lie reflected, probably, upon the best means of relieving himself from the anxious
solicitude which the government of so many millions must necessarily have created —
perhaps, also, upon the vanity of all worldly greatness, since one enemy remained who
was invincible — and perhaps also upon his own individual unfitness for the great trust
committed to him, and on the best and most ingenious mode of escaping from the
importunities of his own conscience. Amongst the many modes to which the imperial
owner had recourse, to while away his leisure in the Pavilion of "The Five Gardens,"
poetry appears to have been included ; and some few lines which he composed upon the
charms of the imperial retreat, have been carved upon a slab of black marble preserved
in the library, and are still shown as a specimen of his genius and penmanship, the
engraving being also a fac-simile.
That his time might be divided as much as possible between the fairy-grounds
of the Five Gardens, and the sunlit banks of the Golden Island, the emperor Kang-hi
caused a canal to be cut from his pavilion to the waters of the Yang-tse-kiang, passing
the flourishing city of Qua-tchow. The distance of the embouchure of this still-water
navigation from the shores of the Golden Island, is about two miles, yet such is the
extravagance of Chinese vanity, and such the extent of their credulity, that tradition
ventures to maintain " that a bridge constructed to facilitate the imperial intercourse
between these favourite spots, once spanned the breadth of the Kiang's waters."
The panoramic view from the pine-clad summit of the Golden Island* is extensive
and varied. It includes the mouldering walls of Qua-tchow, with its still more desolate
imperial gardens: the city of Chin-keang, seated at the base of a lofty mountain-range;
besides the various sweeps and windings of the imperial canal and of the Yang-tse-
kiang. In this district white and coloured marbles, as well as sienitic granite, abound :
of the latter, the bridges of the province are mostly built. The principal trees are
the plane, pine, cypress, arbor-vit;i\ willow, camphor, and yang-ckoo ; the last is a
spreading tree that droops its branches to the ground, where, like the ficu& indicus, they
take root, and become each in turn a parent.
• The most celebrated amongst the many isles, or rather hills, in China, distinguished by the prefix " Silver,"
is situated to the west of the eity of Chin-keang-foo. It was anciently called " The Land of Deer :" but I
its proximity to the Kin-shan, acquired its present more conformable epithet. Under the Yuen, or Mongul
dynasty, a temple was built upon its summit, the praises of which were sung by Ia w-yen-paih, a member of
the Tang dynasty, a family much celebrated for their exquisite taste in poetry.
LAKE S E E - II 0.
FEOM THE VALE OF TOMBS.
Life 's link'd with death : our joys and griefs entwine ;
E'en realms Celestial own the vulgar lot :
Yon bright green glades with laughing myriads shine,
In yon dark glen, there sires by millions rot ;
Nor one flower less See-Hoo's fair margin blooms,
Though mirror'd on its wave The Vale of Tambs. C. J. C.
At a brief distance west from the great city of Hang-chow-foo, once the capital of
Southern China, there is a lake celebrated for its extent, the clearness of its waters,
and romantic character of the surrounding scenery. Its picturesque shores present
a length of about twenty miles, broken at one time by a projecting promontory, at
another by a retiring bay, while its ever-tranquil and transparent surface is adorned
by two wooded islets, that float with gracefulness upon its smooth bright bosom.
The little harbour of Lake See-Hoo, the ancient Ming-Shing, is connected with Hang-
Chow by a broad and well-paved causeway, yet insufficient, occasionally, for the accom-
modation of the numerous votaries of pleasure, that hasten to while away many an hour
of their existence amidst the fascinating scenery of these elysian regions. The shores
in general are fertile, and the attractions of the place having drawn hither the wealthy
mandarins from the city, every spot of land, from the water's edge to the foot of the
bold mountains that form a noble amphitheatre around, is occupied by light aerial
buildings, villas, palaces, temples, pleasure-grounds, and gardens, or in some other way
appropriated to the ministration of luxury, or service of leisure. Like the Laguna of
Venice, the face of these waters is crowded day and night with pleasure-boats of every
grade; the most sumptuous yachts are generally followed by a floating kitchen in which
the banquet is prepared, one always including those delicious silver eels, with which the
clear waters of the See-Hoo abound ; and, to Chinese society, from which all interchange
of intellectual conversation is wholly rejected, the accompaniment of the floating
cuisine is indispensably requisite.* Females are excluded from all participation in
* The following description of a Chinese dinner is from the pen of Captain Laplace, of the French navy.
" The first course was laid out in a great number of saucers of painted porcelain, and consisted of various
relishes in a cold state — as salted earth-worms, prepared and dried, but so cut up that I fortunately did not know
what they were till I swallowed them ; salted or smoked fish and ham, both of them cut into extremely
small slices ; besides which there was what they called Japan leather, a sort of darkish skin, hard and tough
with a strong and far from agreeable taste, which seemed to have been macerated in water for some time. All
these et ceteras, including among the number a liquor, which I recognized to be soy, made from a Japan bean,
and long since adopted by the wine- drinkers of Europe, to revive their faded appttites or tastes, were used as
LAKE SEE-HOO. !)
these enjoyments their appearance in such expeditions heing deemed derogatory t<> tin-
privacy and separativeness of the sexes in China — a circumstance that sufficiently
demonstrates the degraded condition of society in the Celestial empire. How miserable
and insipid that social state, where intellectual intercourse between the sexes is prohi-
bited ! What a censure is cast by man upon himself, by this prejudgment of wickedness
or weakness in every created being ! Here, then, the sublimest sentiments, the noblest
feelings, the play of softer passions, are total strangers, and reason and philosophy
comparatively fallen. In countries where the mental faculties have received that culti-
vation of which they are susceptible, whenever years shall have weakened the desire of
joining the gay and glittering circle of female youth and beauty, or inclination have led to
the severe exercises of the intellectual powers, numerous resources are still in reserve,
and a relish for society will still be retained by those who value " the feast of reason and
the flow of soul." No such class, however, exists in China; there the tenor of conver-
sation is mean, coarse, and grovelling, touching local grievances — the injustice of the
mandarins — the stratagem of some wily merchant or fraudulent tradesman. Perhaps
the female character might sustain a loss of purity and grace by more free admission
into society so constituted — the Chinaman probably exercises a sound discretion in
excluding the fair sex from such a vicious atmosphere.
In addition to the silent satisfaction derived from the motion of their gaudy barges
on the tranquil surface of the See-Hoo, the pleasures of the table are immoderately
indulged in ; smoking lends its aid, and the opium stimulates those who are too stolid
by nature to share in the charms and the vices of the gaming-table.
seasoning to a great number of stews, which were contained in bowls, and succeeded each other uninterruptedly.
All the dishes, without exception, swam in soup. On one side figured pigeons' eggs cooked in gravy, together
with ducks and fowls, cut very small, and immersed in a dark-coloured sauce ; on the other, little balls made of
sharks' fins, eggs prepared by heat (of which both the smell and taste seemed to us equally repulsive), immense
grubs, a peculiar kind of sea-fish, crabs, and pounded shrimps.
" Seated at the right of our excellent Amphitryon, I was the object of his whole attention, but nevertheless
found myself considerably at a loss how to use the two little ivory sticks, tipped with silver, winch, together
with a knife that had a long, narrow, and thin blade, formed the whole of my eating apparatus. I hud great
difficulty in seizing my prey in the midst of these several bowls filled with gravy : in vain I tried to hold, in
imitation of my host, this substitute for a fork between the thumb and the two first fingers of the right hand ;
for the chopsticks slipped aside every moment, leaving behind them the unhappy little morsel which I so much
coveted. It is true that the master of the house came to the relief of my inexperience (by which he was much
entertained) with his two instruments, the extremities of which a few moments before had touched a mouth
whence age and the use of snuff and tobacco had cruelly chased its good looks. However, I contrived to eat,
with tolerable propriety, a soup prepared with the edible birds' nests, in which the Chinese are such epicures.
The substance thus served up is reduced into very thin filaments, transparent as isinglass, and resembling vermi-
celli, with little or no taste.
" At fiist I was much puzzled to find out how, with our chopsticks, we should be able to taste of the various
soups which composed the greater part of the dinner, and had already called to mind the fable of the Fox and
Stork, when our two Chinese entertainers, dipping at once into the bowl with the little saucer placed at the side
of each guest, showed us how to get rid of the difficulty.
" To the young guests, naturally lively, such a crowd of novelties presented an inexhaustible fund of plea-
santry, and though unintelligible to the worthy Hong merchant and his brother, the jokes seemed to delight them
10 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
While their faculties remain undimmed by the vicious habits of this extraordinary
people, these voyagers in search of pleasure enjoy one of the richest prospects in Southern
China. The banks that rise with such gentle acclivity, are decked all round with flow-
ering water-lilies, the purple poppy enriches the lowest margin of the land, beyond
which rise in gradual dignity the camphor, the tallow-tree, and the arbor-vita?. These are
the fairest amongst the indigenous productions of this locality : — the changeable and
Syrian roses, the common lilac, the paper mulberry, juniper, cotton-plant, balsams in
great variety, amaranthus, and aquatic-lilies : the fruits known in Europe also abound,
many of which, however, are of an inferior quality. These beautiful specimens of the
vegetable kingdom adorn the deep fertile vales that run up between the mountains ; and
the contrast they form with the forest-trees around, give additional value to their proper-
ties — the bright green foliage of the camphor harmonizes happily with the purple of the
tallow, while the deep sombre verdure of the tree-of-life waves in melancholy grandeur
over both. Numerous tributary streams descend from the mountains, and end their
noisy career in the bosom of the calm See-Hoo ; and, the visitation of the wooded glens
through which they roll their rapid waters, constitutes a favourite amusement of the
various boating-parties from the city. The close sylvan scenery here is much enhanced
by the introduction of a multitude of bridges, that span the cataracts in the most preci-
pitous places : and the construction of these useful works forms a constant object of
Chinese industry, although these people have yet to learn that their labours in this sort are
perfectly puerile, and infinitely below those monuments which the engineers of Europe
not at all the less. The wine, in the mean time, circulated freely, and the toasts followed each other in rapid
succession. This liquor, which to my taste was by no means agreeable, is always taken hot ; and in this state
it approaches pretty nearly to Madeira, in colour as well as a little in taste ; but it is not easy to get tipsy with
it, for in spite of the necessity of frequently attending to the invitations of my host, this wine did not in the
least affect my head. We drank it in little gilt cups, having the shape of an antique vase, with two handles of
perfect workmanship, and kept constantly filled by attendants holding large silver vessels like coffee-pots.
" After all these good things served one upon the other, of which it gave me great pleasure to see the last,
succeeded the second course, which was preceded by a little ceremony, of which the object seemed to be a trial
of the guests' appetites. Upon the edges of four bowls arranged in a square, three others were placed, filled
with stews, and surmounted by an eighth, which thus formed the summit of a pyramid ; and the custom is to
touch none of these, although invited by the host. On the refusal of the party the whole disappeared, and the
table was covered with articles in pastry and sugar, in the midst of which was a salad composed of the tender
shoots of the bamboo, and some watery preparations that exhaled a most disagreeable odour.
" Up to this point, the relishes of which I first spoke had been the sole accompaniment of all the successive
ragouts ; they still served to season the bowls of plain rice, which the attendants now, for the first time, placed
before each of the guests : it must be remembered that this was a formal dinner — rice forms a much more
integral part of an every-day meal.
" I regarded with an air of considerable embarrassment the two little sticks, with which, notwithstanding the
experience acquired since the commencement of the repast, it seemed very doubtful whether I should be able
to eat my lice, grain by grain, according to the belief of Europeans regarding the Chinese custom. I therefore
waited until my host should begin, to follow his example, foreseeing that, on this new occasion, some fresh
discovery would serve to relieve us from the truly ludicrous embarrassment which we all displayed ; this was
done by plunging their chopsticks into the bowls of rice, held up to the mouth, which was opened to its full
extent, and thus easily shovelling in the rice, not by grains, hut by handfuls."
LAKE SEE-HOO. 1 1
have raised to architectural science in England and in France. Amidst the continuous
range of temples, monasteries of the Ho-Shaung. or priests of Fo, mansions, villas, grovesj
gardens, bridges, and tombs, that encircle this fairy lake, the ruins of an imperial palace
may still be traced. Originally ten miles in circumference, and enclosed with lofty
brick walls, it was separated into three great courts, all looking out upon the lake.
It was in the outer court that the emperor Foo-tsung frequently entertained ten thou-
sand guests at a banquet, which lasted ten successive days ; the second court was sur-
rounded by the imperial apartments ; and the third division included those of the ladies
of the palace, besides gardens, fish-ponds, preserves for game, and other appendages to
a residence of such state and magnitude. This sumptuous palace ceased to be the resi-
dence of the imperial house in the year 1*275, when the empress mother, and the emperor
Kung-tsung, a minor, having surrendered themselves to the Mongool Tartars, were
delivered to Kublai-Khan, by whom they were banished to his hereditary kingdom. There
the ex-emperor died the following year, and with him the Sung dynasty in China.
On the shore adjacent to each usual pier or landing-place, covered carriages, furnished
with silk curtains, richly embroidered cushions, and other costly decorations, are in
attendance, to convey the visiters to public gardens, and places of amusement at a
little distance from the water. On the islands also near the centre of the lake, spacious
buildings are erected, containing splendid apartments and gorgeous open pavilions.
There marriages are celebrated, and the most sumptuous entertainments given on those
and other occasions of joyousness.
But in the midst of life we are in death; for, while sounds of mirth re-echo round
the shores, and pleasure seems to have here secured an undisturbed and everlasting
reign, the dark cypress flings his lengthened shadows on the water, suggesting to its
navigators of to-day something reflective of to-morrow.
" Dark tree, still sad when others' grief is fled,
The only constant mourner o'er the dead."
Full in the view of the light bark, in pursuit of lighter hopes and pleasures, opens
the sad " Vale of Tombs," consecrated to those who once joined in
' That chase of idle hopes and fears,
Begun in folly, closed in tears,"
participating in all the gratifications and the vanities of beauty and of youth. Rude in
many customs and habits, the Chinese are too refined and sentimental in the reverence
they pay the dead. " It is a matter of doubt whether the Chinese do not carry their
veneration of the dead to the point of adoration." Embosomed in trees, and on the
brow of a hill that descends with undulations to the water, monuments, tombs, and fan-
tastic sepulchral honours, of infinite variety in design, materials, and workmanship,
extend over an area of some miles in circumference. Along the numerous vistas
formed by the tall cypress, occur at intervals, little buildings of square form, painted
blue, and raised on white colonnades. These are the melancholy resting-places of many
]0 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
generations, the upper chambers of so many monuments. Mandarins and persons of
rank and power are distinguished, even in death, from their fellow-men, by mausoleums
raised on semilunar terraces, having panels of black marble in front, as a ground
for the better display of posthumous praises written on them in letters of gold.
Sarcophagi, altar-tombs, slabs, pillars, pyramids, obelisks, towers, every species of form
that taste can suggest, or experience execute, is found in the Vale of Tombs, and raised
by feelings little understood in any other country of our globe. Where means
have been wanting to supply more costly materials, affectionate zeal has substituted
memorials of either earth or wood, but in no instance is the offering of some recording
testimony neglected by the survivors. Besides the tree long consecrated to the home of
the dead, there are others in this romantic cemetery that seem to mourn over the
grave of departed worth, and shelter its melancholy grandeur from the idler's gaze.
These are the weeping willow and the lignum-vitae, whose slender pendent branches,
agitated by the breeze, brush away the mouldering fragments from the surface of each
tablet, and present the inscription fair and fresh-looking for ever. Ofttimes, and at
night, numbers of torches are perceived passing and repassing along the chief avenues
of the Vale of Tombs, but they do not excite amongst the inhabitants of the vicinity any
unusual apprehension. They are borne by visitants to the graves of friends, relations,
parents ; on these occasions, particularly at the seasons of spring and autumn, the sepul-
chres are swept and garnished with tinsel-paper, slips of silk, flowers, and various other
ornaments ; while a supper of rice, fowls, or roasted pigs, is offered to the shades of those
who sleep beneath, and a libation of wine at the same time poured upon the ground.
As it is a leading maxim of Chinese faith to pay a reverential obedience to parents,
these spectacles of sepulchral sacrifices are most frequently witnessed at the grave of a
father or mother. In other instances the duty is often deputed to a friend or proxy, but
in this case never.
It is not unusual to see a widow, who has just concluded her prayer-offering beside
the cold bed of her once-loved husband, before she has risen from the attitude of
supplication, engaged most anxiously in throwing the " sticks of fate" on his grave-
stone. Predestination is an universal doctrine in China, and the ancient custom of
choosing or rather throwing lots, is still preserved with the most persevering fidelity.
On the altar of every temple stands a wooden cup, filled with a number of small sticks
marked at the ends with certain characters. The consultant taking up the cup shakes
it until one of the sticks falls out ; then ascertaining its mark, in the page of the book
of fate which is suspended from the altar, and to which the lot refers, reads his future
fortune. Such also are the sticks of fate which the widows carry to their lost lords'
tombs, and from which they endeavour to learn whether they are doomed to a social
or a solitary life in future. It is a superstition of very early growth, that the possessor
of a lucky lot has the power of reading his destiny aright.
" By him the pure events of lots are given ;
By him the prophet speaks the will of Heaven."
One of the most conspicuous, ancient, and interesting objects on the banks of the See-
Hoo is the Luy-fung-ta, or " Temple of the Thundering Winds." It stands on the Bummit
of a promontory that advances into the waters, and is materially different in the style of its
architecture from the temples or pagodas commonly seen in the Chinese empire. From its
tapering form, massive structure, and peculiarity of design, little doubt exists as to its
great antiquity, and native authorities assert that its foundation is coeval with the age
of Confucius, upwards of two thousand years since. Four stories have survival this great
section of time, and, owing to the mildness of the climate, they may resist the raw
of other thousands of years, although no roof remains to aid their preservation. Cor-
nices of double curves mark and separate the stories, which are ornamented with cir-
cular-headed windows, with architraves and corbels of red sandstone, a yellow species
being employed in the walls. To decorate such venerable landmarks of old time the
mantle of ivy is wanting, in the deep green folds of which it might defy the very deity
to whom it was first consecrated. But this parasite, which poetry has dignified by
making an attribute of antiquity, is unknown in China— grass, and wild flowers, and
lichens of various kinds, alone finding soil sufficient for their tiny roots in the rents and
the fissures of the masonry. The testimony of European travellers extends back with
certainty to the time of Marco Polo, in the thirteenth century, at which period the
Temple of the Thundering Winds on Lake See-Hoo stood at the height of one hundred
and twenty feet above the level of the surrounding soil; an altitude which has not since
been lowered by a single cubit.
14 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
THE IMPERIAL TRAVELLING - PALACE,
AT THE HOO-KEW-SHAN.
Give me a mountain -spot where Nature's forms
Enchantress Memory twice doth consecrate ;
Green dreamy vales, and summits swept of storms
Rife with the love-tale or dark wizard's fate.
Well might a Cham's pavilion-walls surround
The Bhuddist's Chair and phantom- Tiger's Mound.
C. J. C.
Jupiter descended occasionally from Olympus, and became the guest of mortals, and
the king of Tartarus emerged from his gloomy hall to visit the palace of Queen Ceres,
yet the mighty autocrat of the " Celestial empire" never deigns to enter any save an impe-
rial habitation. No private palace of his humiliated mandarins, no public serai' of his
enslaved subjects, is ever honoured by the imperial presence ; when the court makes a
tour of pleasure or policy, the retinue is lodged at " travelling palaces" erected for their
reception. These occur along the great high-roads that connect the principal cities of
the empire, and some of them exceed in sumptuousness, all in picturesque accompani-
ments, the much-celebrated palace and gardens of Pe-king.
Keang-nan is a fair and a fertile province, enjoying variety of seasons, of soil, of
scenery, " here we find the country growing more beautiful, better cultivated, and in all
respects more interesting ; we are soon surrounded by picturesque hills in the distance,
and the people display superior riches and prosperity in their dresses and habitations."
In the midst of these happy faces, and amongst these sunny hills, is the imperial travel-
ling palace of the Hoo-kew-shan or Tiger Mound. The locality is about nine le north-
west of Soo-chow-foo, the second city of the first rank in the province, and is one of
the most famed in Chinese story, for its romantic scenery, its commanding prospects, and
its ancient legends. From the conspicuousness of the mound that rises so precipitously
from the level country, and which has now become a valuable landmark to the mariner,
this " gathering of rocky eminences " is also known as the Hae-yung-fung, " or sea-rising
peak." Every summit of this "many-topped" group, every recess within these mountains'
bosoms, every ravine that intercepts their continuity, presents some object of curiosity
or admiration, in the production of which art and nature contend for superiority. On the
highest pinnacle is the Keen-che, or "Sword Pool ;" beside it the Tseen-jin-tso-shih, or
"rock to seat the thousand people," and opposite are the Sang-kung and Shwo-fa terraces.
nil. IMPERIAL TRAVELLING-PALACE.
On this spot, as legends say, Heu-loo, King of Woo, was buried, with all the ceremonj
that suited his rank, and on the third day after his entombment a white tiger was seen
seated on his monument, where it remained for several days, and to which it paid perio-
dical visits for many subsequent years. It is also believed that when Che-hwang of the
Tsin dynasty, and first universal monarch of China, meditated destroying the tombs
of Woo, the white tiger, the genius of the family, appeared to him on the mound that
is named after his species, and deterred him from his purpose.
Its sanctity and historical associations, in addition to the attractions of its natural
beauties, led hither two brothers, Wang-seun and Wang-min, officers of the court of
Tsin, who built their country-seats amidst the rocky defiles of the mountain. The list of
temples on the Tiger Mound includes the T wan-poo, in which sacrifices were offered ;
the Yin-ho-tsing where Tung-chang studied, and in which a tablet is suspended wherein
he is described as " the thrice-reverencing Tse ;" the Woo-heen, or Temple of Five
Worthies, adjoining the preceding, is dedicated to three celebrated characters of the
epoch of the Tang, and two of the Sung dynasty.
Antique relics of various descriptions lend an interest to this remarkable locality.
perhaps the ruins of the Ko-chung-ting or " Middle Hall," and Pih-kung's Dyke, so
called from Pih-loo-teen by whom it was constructed, are held in greatest veneration by
Chinese antiquaries. There is a story that Sang-kung, a celebrated Bhuddist priest,
was engaged in expounding the mysteries of his faith on the Tiger Mound, when the
Emperor Wan-te, of the Sung dynasty, arrived there, and interrupted his prelections
by inviting some of his disciples to a banquet. To the emperor's request that his guests
would partake of the cheer, one, more courageous than the rest, replied, that " the rules
of the priesthood forbade its votaries to taste of food after the day had passed its middle.'
" How," said the Emperor, " can the commencement be in the middle" ( ko-chung) ?'
"When it is day and dawn of day," answered Sang-kung, "Heaven is said 'to middle
it,' and how can it be otherwise !" The priest was silent, then raising his chopsticks,
proceeded to taste the delicacies that were spread before him, after which, in comme-
moration of the circumstance, he bestowed upon the pavilion the name it bears to
the present day. In after ages this revered asylum was the solitary abode of Cho-taou-
sang, another Bhuddist priest, renowned for sanctity and learning. Having in vain
solicited the attention of men, and finding them a perverse generation " totally destitute
of reflection," he collected a number of large stones, and placed them upright all around
his rude mountain-pulpit; then seating himself amidst these chill emblems of the human
heart, he sarcastically proceeded in his exposition of the Shwo-fa faith, upon which his
silent auditory are said to have bowed assent, and in that approving posture the)
still continue upon the scene of the event.
The summit of the bold rock that rises abruptly behind the imperial buildings,
and is connected with the opposite cliffs by an arched viaduct spanning a deep ravine, is
surmounted by the beautiful Han-meaou pagoda of seven stories. From this graceful
structure, formerly attached to the Ilo-tsing temple, the prospect is extensive and
16 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
delightful, forming, from the earliest periods of native topography, a subject of the most
enthusiastic admiration. The hills of the Hoo-kew are marked by deep ravines,
down which streams of transparent water are heard eternally falling, and, on the narrow
pathways, that follow their winding course along the lowest depths of the dark chasms,
the rays of the sun scarcely ever strike. Nothing can be imagined more tranquil, lonely,
and inspiring than the lofty site of the temple itself, " where the blue ether is breathed,
and the white clouds pierced to reach the arch of Heaven." Below, in the wide-extended
plain, is the populous Koo-soo, and from this sublime observatory you may " in a turn
of the hand" behold the south.
Adjacent to this glorious relic of Bhuddism stands the chair, a rude rock, such as
the Druids of old erected in Britain, whence the venerable Sang-kung delivered his
discourses, and taught the vain precepts of his idolatrous faith. His throne, more impe-
rishable than his theory, looks down upon the " Sword Pool" beside it, along the banks of
which for thousands of cubits, two walls resembling mountains extend, although evidently
" cut by the hand of man ;" the water is remarkable for its transparency, as well as
for the violent agitations to which it is subject upon the least visitations of wind : and the
melancholy sound of its waves, as they roll upon the shores, are heard in solemn echoes
all round the group of the Tiger Mound. Lower down upon the hill is a circle of unhewn
rocks, with huge holders lying irregularly around, and near to these the stone benches of
" the thousand people." The surface of these beautiful hills presents everywhere some
relic of Bhuddism bearing a remarkable analogy to the druidical remains of England and
Ireland, and the proximity of the Pagoda, a variety of the Irish pillar-tower, strengthens
the resemblance. The Pih-leen-che, or Pool of the White Lilies, is situated still lower
down, having its surface resplendent with the vermilion and blue of these sumptuous
aquatic plants. A pathway from the bank of the fairy-lake descends amidst rocks, and
grottoes, and sparkling fountains, reconducting the visitor to the garden from whence the
principal front of the palace is approached. An oriental topographer, in the florid style
of his climate, speaking of the scenery of Hoo-kew, says, " its height does not oppose the
clouds, its depth does not conceal its prospects, nor is its shallowness a hillock; it has
paths extending to an extraordinary distance, apparently impervious, and then again
passable, with rocks which seem suddenly to divide, and then as suddenly to unite."
In the centre of the accompanying view may be observed an upright stone inscribed
with the words " How-kew," the name of the place ; its presence affords another
analogy between oriental customs and those of these western Isles. We have still
in North Wales many such " upright stones," some perhaps, like the Roman Termini,
to mark territorial boundaries ; one called Maen y Campiau, " the Stone of Games,"
the goal, perchance, of some primitive stadium ; while another, perpetuating a station
of pilgrimage or penance, is still designated Maen Achwynffan, "the Stone of Lamen-
tation." This assemblage of ancient remains, this group of picturesque hills, rendered
interesting by so many associations, is now included within the grounds and the gardens
of an imperial palace, and no more likely to revert to the dominion of priestcraft, than
HARBOUR "I HONG-KONG. 17
the woods and the mountains of Britain that once witnessed the crimes and the (unities
The following linos in praise of the Tiger Mound are quoted from the writings of
Pih-keu-e, a poet who flourished under the Tang dynasty —
Wonderful is the rook on which a thousand priests sat,
And spiritual the pool in which a sword was plunged '
The waters are opposed to both Bides of the Pavilion,
And the mountain is in the centre of the temple.
HARBOUR OF HONG - KONG.
Hail, little isle ! and Hong's fair haven, hail !
First-fruits of China to the ocean-queen !
New orient realms, new navies' embryo sail
Glass'd in thy shifting horoscope are seen.
May British virtue shine, in thee confest ;
And in her culony be Britain blest ! C. J. C.
There is an archipelago of rocky islets in the estuary of the Canton river, long known,
but only lately visited by Europeans. Of these, Hong-Kong, one of the most easterly,
and only forty miles distant from Macao, possesses a harbour so sheltered, commodious,
and secure, that during the repudiation of our trade from Canton by commissioner Lin,
it became the favourite rendezvous of British merchantmen. Hither mariners have been
attracted by the facility of procuring a supply of the purest water, which is seen falling
from the cliffs of the Leong-teong, or two summits, in a series of cascades, the last of
which glides in one grand and graceful lapse into a rocky basin on the beach, whence
the waters rebounding are widely scattered in their unrestricted progress towards the
open sea. It is from this fountain, " Heang-keang, the fragrant-stream, or Hoong-
keang, the red or bright torrent, that the island is supposed to derive its name ; and it is
little less probable, that this very name is the grateful memento of some thirsty mariners
who, ages ago, obtained here a seasonable supply in time of need. The maximum length
of the isle is about eight miles, its breadth seldom exceeding five ; its mountains of
trap-rock, are conical, precipitous, and sterile in aspect, but the valleys that intervene
are sheltered and fertile, and the genial climate that prevails gives luxuriance and
productiveness to every spot, which, by its natural position, is susceptible of agricultural
improvement. The aboriginal inhabitants, about four thousand in Dumber, are poor,
but contented and industrious, and, whoever has experienced the insolence of office, in
the treatment of the mandarins at Canton to ]?rit isli subjects, is alone competent to
appreciate the innate gentleness, and disinterested hospitality, of the farmers and the
fishermen of Hong-Kong. On the south, the sheltered shore of the island, are several
hamlets,* and the town of Chek-choo, the little capital, where a mandarin and his
Wang-nei-chung, Heong-keong, Shek-pei-wan, Soo-koon-poo, and some others.
18 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
myrmidons usually resided. Within the last half century these industrious islanders
have seen their picturesque harbour twice occupied by large fleets of European vessels
riding securely at anchor; in 1816, the expedition under the conduct of Lord Amherst
visited their shores for the purpose of watering, and of receiving interpreters ; and, at the
commencement of the recent Chinese quarrel, this was for many months the chief opium
mart The opium brought from Hindostan was here transferred to the Hercules and
Lintin storeships, respectively representing the interests of Great Britain and of America,
and reshipped on board vessels destined for Chinese ports. By an arrangement entered
into between the British superintendent and commissioner Keshen, during a cessation
of hostilities in the Chinese war, the Island of Hong-Kong was ceded to the Queen of
England,* and, in a few months after, the population of the new settlement of " Queen's
Town" was estimated at eight thousand souls, and the grand total of the island at
fifteen. This cession received a final confirmation by the treaty of the 29th August,
1842, when the British army, at the gates of Nanking, dictated terms of peace to the
As a commercial entrepot, as a safe asylum for our shipping in the Oriental seas, as
commanding the estuary of the Canton river, and as a military station, Hong-Kong pos-
sesses the utmost value ; but, it never can become a port for the direct and immediate
shipment of Chinese exports, the mountainous and inhospitable character of the coast
between it and the productive provinces of the empire, completely intercepting commu-
nication. The harbour, however, the subject of the accompanying view, is one of the
noblest roadsteads in the east ;f situated between the north-west extremity of the island
and the mainland, it may be entered southward through Lamma Channel, — westward by
the Cap-sing-mun passage, and from the east by vessels sailing close under the penin-
sula of Kow-lung. When Captain Elliott's proclamation declared Hong-Kong to be a
part and parcel of the British dominions, he marked out the site of Queen's-Town on the
southern shore, and here, around the standard of freedom, whole streets started into
existence as if raised by the wand of the enchanter. A broad hard road now extends
to the harbour of Ty-tam, around which marine villas are in progress of erection, com.
manding the grand spectacle of Hong harbour, and enjoying the refreshing breezes that
blow from the unbounded sea. At the base of the lofty mountain-chain that margins the
Chinese coast for many a league, is the Cow-loon (kow-lung, the winding dragon)
peninsula, which, like the isthmus at Gibraltar, was to have been considered neutral
ground, but the enemy having violated the treaty, it was seized by the British, who
garrisoned the fort and named it Victoria, in honour of her Britannic majesty.
Besides the usual products of Chinese soil, climate, and industry, which are very
prominently and meritoriously raised in this pleasant islet, there is a valuable export of
granite, and a large proportion of the natives have long sustained themselves by the
* Mr. Johnston, (the son of the Right Honourable Sir Alexander Johnston,) Her Majesty's Deputy Superin-
tendent in China, was appointed Acting Governor, with an establishment consisting of a magistrate, a harbour-
master, and a land-surveyor.
t " In all points, both of facility of egress and ingress, and in its perfectly land-locked situation, this harbour
can hardly have a superior in the world."— Report of Lord Amherst's Voyage, &c.
ll.UUSOUIl OF HONG-KONG.
profits of hewing this primitive stone. In the structure of the district, the trap-rock.-
hold the higher position, while the granite is found in huge debris BCattered over the
level and the lower regions. As there is no necessity for blasting or quarrying, the
masses being detached and accessible on every side, it only remains for the labourer to
hew or split each bolder into blocks easy of transport to the shore. This process is
performed by the maul, chisel, and wedges, in a manner long practised by the granite
hewers on the shores of Dublin bay, and in the mountains that rise at a little distance
from them. With the maul and chisel, shallow holes, at equal intervals, are sunk m a
ri-ht line along the surface of the rock, into which iron wedges are subsequently driven,
which rend the mass with an extraordinary regularity. The rent blocks of course
present a rugged surface, but the inequality is soon reduced to sufficient smoothness
by the application of keener-edged tools.
In every sheltered nook along the coast a lonely cottage makes its appearance, close
to the mar-in of the water, and before the door stands a piece of machinery consisting
of a bench? raised a few feet from the ground, with foot and hack board, to give the
occupant complete control over his movements, besides two upright posts connected by
a windlass with a wheel at each extremity. This construction is a regular accompani-
ment of every fisherman's hut, and completely characteristic of Hong-Kong scenery.
The elevated stage forms part of an apparatus for fishing which none but Chinamen
could ever have contrived, and none else have continued to use, after they had witnessed
the more simple means employed by foreigners, to obtain the same conclusion. The
radii of the wheels, attached to the extremities of the reel or windlass, are so many
levers, which, by the operator pressing with his hands and feet, coil up or release a
set of ropes tied to stakes stuck into the muddy bottom of the shallow sea. Between
these stakes a net is suspended, so nicely adjusted that its weight depresses their heads
below the surface whenever the ropes are relaxed. The net being immersed, the
partners in the stratagem, who are provided with a boat, row to the seaward of it, and,
by striking the gong, by vociferating, and by beating the surface of the water with
their oars, affright the fish, and drive them into the space immediately over the secret
snare. The person stationed at the windlass paying the most vigilant attention to these
proceedings, and feeling the vibration produced in the meshes by the efforts of the fish
to descend, slowly turns his levers until his net is brought near the surface, where
the boatmen are waiting to secure the draught Two principles in philosophy seem to
have been fully understood by these children of nature, one is the extraordinary power
of conveying sound which is possessed by water; the other, that fish, prompted bj
instinct, always endeavour to escape from danger by diving down into deeper water, but
never rise to the surface for that object. The supply so procured is not sent to the
market of Queen's-Town for sale, the quantity sought and obtained being seldom more
than sufficient for the wants of the fisherman's family: and, it is by means of this
wholesome fare, together with the whitest and firmest rice in the Chinese empire, that
the inhabitants of this sea-girt isle succeed in presenting an appearance of rude and
never-failing health, that visitors universally remark.
20 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
TEMPLE OF POO-TA-LA,
AT ZHEHOL, IN TARTARY.
Temple of Pagan Fo ! Gigantic shrine
Of giant idol and more monstrous faith '.
Can prison-walls, and altars such as thine,
Train votive Emperors o'er the desert's path?
Oh I then shall China's ill her blessing prove,
When Christian Zhe-hol crowns our missionary love. C.J. C.
Of Tartar descent, the emperor of China still retains his Tartarian predilections. The
language of his original country is not discouraged, Mongolian Tartars find especial
favour within the boundary-wall, and every returning summer witnesses the emigration
of the Imperial household to his majesty's ancestral home amidst the wild scenery of
Zhe-hol. The journey thither is long, the way fatiguing, but the period at which it is
made, obviates numerous inconveniences, that more severe weather and shorter days
might occasion, while the imperial cortege finds suitable accommodation at the numerous
( ravelling-palaees placed at equal intervals along the line of road reserved for royalty
alone. Two objects, personal interest and public duty, demand the emperor's annual
visit to his patrimonial possessions, — inspection of his domains, and reception of the
khans to whom he entrusts the government of Tartary. These great claims upon his
feelings and his justice being answered, he devotes one portion of his leisure to the
pleasures of the chase, another to the offering of prayers and presents in the great temple
The palace and gardens are seated in a valley on the banks of a majestic river, in
the immediate vicinity of the little town of Zhe-hol, and overhung by lofty and rugged
mountains, which, at the season of the imperial visit, present a scene of the most sublime
and gratifying character. Accompanied by his Tartar life-guards, who are not required
to follow the faith of their sovereign against the impulse of their consciences, his majesty
enters the Poo-ta-la, while his satellites occasionally remain outside, employing them-
selves in showing how " swift is the arrow from the Tartar's bow," how incomplete his
knowledge of the management of artillery, and how relentless his maxims in the punish-
ment of minor offences. The Poo-ta-la, a corruption of Budhalaya, the habitation of
Budah, is the most spacious, celebrated, and wealthy of all the temples in Tartary. It
includes one great and several smaller structures of plain exterior. The main building is
a square, each side of which extends 200 feet, and its general character and design are
totally unlike those of any temple or building in the Celestial dominions. Eleven lofty
stories are distinctly marked by as many tiers of windows in the principal front, and
the inferior buildings, as viewed from the eminence in the imperial park, whence the
illustration is taken, are pierced as numerously in proportion. The golden chapel
TEMPLE OF POO-TA-LA. 21
occupies the central quadrangle of the principal pile, and corridors and galleries below
and above surround the area in which it stands. In the centre of the chapel is a dais
enclosed by golden railings, on which stand three altars richly adorned, and supporting
colossal figures of Fo, his Wife, and Child. At the extreme end of the chapel, in a dark
recess, is the sacred tabernacle, dimly lighted by a solitary lamp, emblematic either of
immortality, if it be supposed ever-burning, or of the slight, tenure of human life by the
facility with which its flame may be extinguished. This point is not expounded by the
priest, to whose remissness the occasional extinction of this vestal lamp has ere now been
imputed; nor are strangers permitted to peep within the veil of hroidered tapestry, that
falls between the chapel and the shrine to exclude the curiosity of unbelievers. Ascend-
ing to the roof of the chapel, the extravagance of idolatrous enthusiasm is again
exhibited in the golden plates that cover it, and in the profuseness with which every pari
of it is decorated. The religion to which this gorgeous but unsightly pile is conse-
crated, is a mere modification of the doctrines of Tao-tze or " The Sons of Immortals,'
who borrowed all their notions from the priests of the Delai Lama of Thibet. Immor-
tality being one of the pretended attributes of the Lama, the impostors carried with them
into China a potion which they asserted to be the elixir vita: ; but, as such an impious
fraud was easy of detection, they were soon compelled to abandon it. Celibacy, however,
and exclusive consecration to the priesthood, with all the other regulations of the order,
are retained in the reformed religion of Lao-kung.
As the visiter passes through the chapel of gold, he will have an opportunity of
seeing the eight hundred lamas attached to the Poo-ta-la, some sitting cross-legged on
the floor, engaged in reading or writing, and others occasionally singing, in tones solemn
and subdued. It might reasonably have been concluded, from their education and learn-
ing, from their having been devoted to the altar from their childhood, like Samuel
amongst the Israelites, and from the vast accumulation of treasure confided to their
administration, that these lamas would possess a widely-extended influence over the
followers of Fo, but such is not the case. They pay the most strict attention to the
exterior rites of their religion, they contribute by pharisaical punctuality to maintain
the respect and magnificence of its ceremonies, but their private virtues, the extent
and character of their information, do not entitle them to that superiority over the people
which might be made instrumental to the preservation of peace and subordination in
society. The dress of the lamas is simple, and suitable ; from their neck they wear
suspended a chaplet, or roll of beads, on which they count their orisons, and in their
visits to the Tartar tents they continue, as they pass, reciting prayers, telling oft* beads,
and professing to call down hail or rain according to the value of the present offered for
such intervention. In their service in the temple they pursue the ceremonies of the
Tao-tzes, marching in procession round the altar, telling their beads, repeating at every
count Om-e-to-fo, and bowing the head: when the entire roll is thus told off, thej
register the performance by a mark of chalk, and refer to it as an evidence of the
number of ejaculations made to their golden god.
22 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
This singularly stupid religion is the only one to which the government in China
affords any support or protection, all sects being freely permitted to exercise the privi-
lege of unrestricted choice. The priests of the Lama are paid and maintained as part
of the Imperial establishment, and the Tartar officer of state uniformly embraces this
faith, if faith it can be called, disclaiming, however, all participation in the impious
principle set up by "The Sons of Immortals."
OR, THE WESTERN SEARED HILLS.
Oh, for enchanter's steed, or charmed lamp,
Or wand, or wings, to waft me thro' the sky
To where, rock-cradled, in its drapery damp,
With chant of quiring winds for lullaby,
The little Vale of Clouds in verdure drest,
Nestles 'mid yon Sear'd Summits of the West ! C. J. C.
About one hundred miles west from the city of Canton, a mountain group arises, as
remarkable for the actual area which it occupies, as for the vast number of its abrupt
and pointed summits. The eternal resting-place of clouds, it becomes the parent of
many rivers, contributing also to swell the volume of the navigable and fertilizing
Se-keang. The scenery of this rocky region is celebrated by all travellers and tale-
tellers ; but the riches of legendary lore do not constitute the only or the greatest
treasures of the locality. These are obtained by the appliances of art and industry —
" gold, precious stones, silk, pearls, eaglewood, tin, quicksilver, sugar, copper, iron,
steel, saltpetre, ebony, and abundance of aromatic woods." These treasures, combined
with the produce of the fertile plains that sleep around this mountain-mass, render the
province of Kwang-tung, the most wealthy, commercial and civilized in the empire.
Never was mountain-scenery so illustrated by either legend or story-breathing
epithet as the many-topped hills of Se-tseaou ; there is not a crag in all these rude,
romantic, rugged regions, that has not its tradition — there is not a natural form of any
magnitude unmarked by some characteristic designation.
The form of the Se-tseaou is said to resemble " a floating dragon," embracing within
its sinuosities a circuit of at least forty le. Around it is drawn by nature, or some
preternatural power, four deep and yawning dikes, called Keen-tsun, Sha-tow, Lung-
tsin, and Kin, and from its summit start up, in broken yet conical forms, seventy-two con-
spicuous and lofty peaks. Like the towers of a fortress around the central keep, or the
lily's leaves around its sheltered cup, these tall peaks enclose and overhang Yan-Yuh, or
« the Valley of Clouds," a vast and fertile plain within them. The keen blasts from the
east are intercepted by the peaks called Ta-ko, The Blue Cloud,* The Purple Cloud,+
* Pih-yun. t Tsze-yun.
and The Yellow,* which form an impervious screen, even in this " kingdom of the
winds." On the north-west, the most remarkable elevations are those named
The White Hill,t The Great Smoothing-iron,:}: The Green Cloudy and The Lion-
peak ||. These rise, ridge on ridge, from "the cup of the lily," and descend again
from their culminating point, by gradual falls, to the banks of the great river, which
flows smoothly past their base in its progress towards the city of Macao. Down the
centre of the Valley of Cloudsf flows a clear bright stream, having its springs amidst
the " Heaven's height," and the " Heaven's grove" summits, whence the water, falling
in majestic sheets from one precipice to another, reaches at last the rocky reservoir that
furnishes a copious supply to the river. The inhabitants of this happy valley have,
with a natural and -excellent judgment, conferred upon many of the surrounding objects,
names expressive of some characteristic property. The presence of mineral treasures
is indicated by the names of Gold and Silver Wells, Iron Spring, and Jasper Rock.
The bolts of imperial Jove have doubtless been often shivered on the sides and the
summits of the Luytan-lun, " Thundermound," while the " Peak of the Genii," and
the " Spirit's Hand," and the " Nine Dragons," have preserved in their legendary titles
the fabulous records of these alpine regions.
Underneath the " Rock Peak," which closes the entrance of the vale, the stream
that winds through it sinks suddenly from view into " The Bottomless Well," and, after
a subterranean course of more than half a mile, enters the Pearl Canal, which opens
intothe Se-keang, or Western River. How closely does the Moralist's imagined seclusion
from the pursuits of men resemble these faithful details of the " Valley of Clouds !" —
" The place which the wisdom or policy of antiquity had destined for the residence of
the Abyssinian princes was a spacious valley in the kingdom of Amhara, surrounded on
every side by mountains, of which the summits overhang the middle part. The only
passage by which it could be entered was a cavern that passed under a rock, of which
it had long been disputed whether it was the work of nature or of human industry."
Amongst the numerous occupations that minister to the necessities, happiness, and
wealth of the inhabitants of the Se-tseaou-shan, fishing constitutes one of the most
constant. Not content with the tedious process of the hook and line, the Chinaman
uniformly employs the more unfailing meshes of a finely-woven net. The barge or
flat-bottomed boat employed in this service, is supplied with two levers, rude long poles
tied together at one end, but having a net, with its suspension-frame of crossed hoops,
depending from the other. The manager of the machinery allows the lever to ascend just
as many feet as he desires that the net should sink in the water; and, after waiting
a reasonable time for the fish to be attracted by the bait, he draws the tied ends down
again, by which means the net is raised to the surface, at the stern of the boat, where
an assistant is in readiness to secure the draught. This mode of fishing is essentially
the same as that pursued by the fishermen on the coast of Hong Kong island, and of
which a more full description has been given in the eighteenth page of this volume.
* Hwang. t Pih-shan. t Tae-wei. § Tsuy-yun. || Sze-tsze. \ Ynn-yuh.
THE TSEIH- SING -YEN
OR, SEVEN-STAR HILLS
Say, stony Seven, why start ye from the plain
Fix'd and eternal as Orion's stars,
And kindred-titled ? Doth your group remain
The eloud-dropt monument of giants' wars, —
Torn from yon heights, uprlung, and backward driven,
Each its own fend to crush, the falling stars of Heaven ?
C. J. c.
In all the romantic region of the seventy-two peaks that occupy the western district
of Quang-tong, the locality of "The Seven-star mountains" is not merely the most extra-
ordinary, but also the most illustrative of provincial scenery and agrarian habits. Its geolo-
gical structure must strike the most cursory observer, its broken and varied forms gratify
the eye of fancy, and, no single scene in Quang-tong gives a more comprehensive and
simultaneous exemplification of the rural occupations of the southern Chinamen. In the
revolution of events, the low lands, that now lie between these isolated rocks, were pro-
bably beneath the waters of the sea, and the alluvial character of the soil favours the idea
of their aqueous origin. The detached masses, that rise up so abruptly in the middle dis-
tance, and give a name and peculiarity to the landscape, are of secondary limestone, worn
into grotesque and cavernous forms, either by the abrasion of the weather, or former
action of the waves. In the distance stands the Woo-fung-shih, or five-peaked mountain,
attaining a height of five thousand feet, and solely of granitic formation. Every ledge,
and rock-terrace, and crowning summit of these insulated hills, is reduced by industry to
complete submission, and has exchanged a surface once as sterile as their aspect, for
a productive and remunerating soil. In some places the disintegrated rock has supplied
a meagre soil, in which the tea-plant flourishes with an exuberance superior to that
which richer loam imparts ; in other cases, the deep clay from the valley has been carried
up and laid on the bare rock, in depth sufficient for the purposes of cultivation. There
cannot be a more interesting evidence of the dense occupation of the surface, and the
indefatigable industry of its cultivators, than the happy cottages that adorn the steep
sides and summits of "The Seven Stars," and the mulberry-trees and tea-plantations that
luxuriate around them. The poorer portion, and the latest candidates for existence, being
pushed from the crowded area of the plain, were obliged to seek independence amidst
the mountains ; and the lessons of labour learned from their ancestors were instru-
mental in securing for them homes as enviable and happy.
The conical mountains that rise so majestically above the rich plain of the Tseih-
sing-yen, include numerous scenes, celebrated amongst the Chinese for their beauty
THE TSEIH-SING-YEN. 25
and sublimity. From the Five Peaks a cascade descends so majestically, that at the
interval of a mile the fall resembles one vast curtain of glass, while the thundering
sound with which it reaches the bed of the river is heard at the distance of several
leagues. The source of this picturesque torrent is situated in a circular hollow, entirely
surrounded and overhung by four lofty mountains, densely clothed with wood to their
highest peaks. The inhabitants call it "The Hollow of the rich Grove," and the peaks
above it are distinguished, morepalrio, by the most fanciful, quaint, and significant epithets.
One is, the Phoenix Eyrie ; another, the Jasper Stand ; a third, the Terrace of Smoke
and Vapour, while the sylphs of the mountain frequent " the Cloudy Road." A singular
cataract rolls down the front of the Cloudy Mountain, conspicuous as well for its loud and
awful sounds in falling, as for the triple tides in which it tumbles. Rushing impetuously
from amidst the vapours that wrap the summit of the mountain, it suddenly separates
into three distinct volumes, each of considerable magnitude, and passes close by the
Mill-stone Rock; after which the three branches becoming again united, fall into the
The instruction conveyed by the accompanying illustration is not limited to mere
picturesque, although faithful delineation ; it comprehends, also, some interesting
representations of the rural occupations of the people. Much attention is evidently
bestowed on the culture of the calabash, which is induced to creep along a horizontal
trellis, supported by rude pillars about seven feet in height, rendering both the blossoms
and the fruit easily tended by the cultivator. This plant, the lagenia vulgaris of botanists,
is held in much estimation by the Chinese ; the pulp being edible, is extracted, boiled in
vinegar, mixed with rice and flesh, and formed into a pudding. The domestic usefulness
of the gourd does not cease here, the shell generally serving as a pudding-dish for the
favourite mixture, after which it is laid up amongst the household-utensils to serve as a
drinking-cup. There are other uses also to which the calabash husk is applied, less
valuable but equally ingenious, such as to disguise the fowler's head while engaged in
catching aquatic birds.
Beyond the gourd-frame, numbers are seen actively employed in the watery rice-
grounds, and farther still appear two branches of the Pearl Canal, whose waters answer
the double purpose of transport and irrigation.
26 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
THE CULTURE AND PREPARATION OF TEA.
In far Cathay is Adam's line,
A peaceful and a sober race ;
Uncultur'd there the vaunted vine —
A growth more blest supplies its place.
Though scorn'd, the world's purveyors they : and we
Dismiss our wine for Chinaman and Tea. C. J. C.
It is uncertain to which country, China or Japan, the tea-plant is indigenous ; nor have
European botanists arrived at such an exact knowledge of its habitats as enables them
to assign its proper classification. But so strongly does it resemble the Camellia in its
botanical characters, that it is now generally referred to that genus — its flowers and
leaves, however, being much smaller. Whether this Asiatic plant has been known
elsewhere, or will thrive in a different soil and climate from those in which it is now so
successfully cultivated, may be doubted ; but we are assured that it has formed one of
the favourite productions of the Chinese central provinces from the remotest antiquity.
There are probably two varieties of the plant to which the Chinese give the name
of Thea, or Tha — the T/iea viridis, with broad leaves, and the Thea Bohea.* It was
long thought that green tea was gathered exclusively from the former, but this conclu-
sion is not drawn from sufficient evidence, and the notion seems to have arisen from the
circumstance of there being two distinct tea districts in the empire. A spacious tract
in the province of Keang-nan, included between the twenty-ninth and thirty-first degrees
of north latitude, and sheltered by the mountain-chain that separates this province from
Che-keang, is usually denominated the Green Tea district, while the Black Tea district is
situated in a lower latitude, and at the base of the mountains that form the line between
the provinces of Fo-kien and Keang-si. The whole range of the tea districts is therefore
comprehended between the twenty-seventh and thirty-first degrees of latitude. It should
not, however, be concluded, from the cultivation of the tea-plant being apparently confined
to these provinces, that it is not, or might not be, extended to others ; nor, from the
thea viridis being prepared in the upper province, that it could not also be matured in
the lower; for it is not unfrequent, in civilized countries, to find special manufactures
located in particular districts, beyond which they seldom migrate. Besides, it is more
truly the case with respect to the cultivation of tea in China, the plant growing in most
• A chemical analysis of both species gives the following contents :— Of Green Tea, 34 6 parts of tannin,
5 9 of gum, 57 of vegetable albumine, 51-3 of ligneous fibre, with 2-j of loss. Of Black Tea, 406 of tannin.
6-3 of gum, 64 of vegetable albumine, 44 '8 of ligneous fibre, with 2- of loss. The ashes contain silica, car-
bonate of lime, magnesia, and chloride of potassium Davy, Frank, &c.
THE CULTURE AND PREPARATION OF TEA.
of its provinces, even those bordering on Chinese Tartary, being gathered in several oi
them for home consumption only, while the whole produce of the green and black
tea districts is reserved for exportation to Europe and America.
The distinctions assigned by commerce to the different descriptions of sup-
posed to have originated with the Canton merchants; the epithets bohea, congo, campo,
souchong, pouchong, flowery pekoe, and orange pekoe, for black teas; and of twankay,
hyson skin, young hyson, hyson, imperial, and gunpowder, for green teas, being wholly
unknown in China, with the exception of that styled imperial. This latter, called
uu-tien, which is only served on occasions of ceremony, consists of the young leaves ot
"the plants, not of any rare species, and is identical with the high-flavoured tea which
Du Halde, who calls it Mao-tcha, asserts to have been appropriated to the emperor.
Even the cups used with the imperial preparation are different from those generallj
employed, being furnished with a perforated silver plate, to keep the leaves down while
the infusion passes through; and also with a stand or saucer of precious metal, shaped
like a Chinese boat. As for the many varieties of tea known to European merchants,
they can be but mixtures of different values and qualities, or successful mutations by-
ingenious Asiatics. In Shan-tung a superior dercription of tea is sold, obtained irom
a species of moss peculiar to the mountains of that province ; and European travellers
have frequently seen ferns, prepared for a similar purpose, exposed for sale at Nan-
chaug-foo, on the lake Po-yang, where an infusion from that plant was a very favourite
bevera-e. There is much reason to suppose also, that if the Chinese do not actually
sell the camellia leaves as tea to foreign dealers, they mix them, and in no measured
proportions, in their chests for exportation. The introduction of a few leaves of the olea
fragrans, a system adopted by the Japanese to impart a high and aromatic flavour t
the leaf, can hardly be viewed as a violation of commercial integrity, and is not expos
therefore to the censure with which other admixtures are justly chargeable. But there
are numerous schemes, both for increasing the weight and adulterating the contents
each chest, which have been imputed to Chinese merchants since the first commence-
ment of our humiliating trade with Canton.
It is somewhat singular that tea is supposed to have been first employed by tn«
Chinese as a preventive of leprosy, the precise object for which ardent spirits were firs
distilled and drank in the northern countries of Europe. The same apprehensions,
errors, and superstitions, therefore, appear in this instance to have influenced alayg.
portion of the human race in different countries from the earlier ages. These qualities,
however, do not now continue to he attributed to the infusion of tea-leaves : bul others,
perhaps more valuable in an age when leprosy is unfrequent, are allowed to attend its
use. Its effects on the human system are those of a very mild narcotic and sedative ;
and, like those of any similar medicine taken in small quantities, exhilarating. ( hemical
analysis, however, has not yet discovered that principle in tea to winch ,ts exctin,
property is due. The green tea preparations possess this quality in a much higher
degree than the black; and a strong infusion of the former will, in most constitutions,
28 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
produce considerable excitement and wakefulness. Still, of all narcotics, tea is the
least pernicious, if indeed it be so in any degree.
Some of its medicinal properties possess much value ; taken moderately, and
cautiously, it acts as an astringent and corroborative ; it strengthens the stomach and
bowels, assists digestion, acts as a diuretic and diaphoretic ; but, excess must be avoided,
and vigilance exercised in its administration. Induced by such valuable properties,
other nations, distinguished for intelligence, enterprise, and perseverance, have
attempted the naturalization of the tea-plant in their colonies, or parent states. In the
island of Java, the Dutch have undertaken its cultivation, and, to insure success,
imported cultivators from the tea-districts of China. These little plantations promised
favourably at first ; but, whether from faithlessness in the labourers, error in the selec-
tion of the plant originally, or a change of purpose on the part of the government, not
wishing to excite Chinese jealousy, the speculation was not pursued with the enthusiasm
in which it originated.
Another attempt, also attended with initial prosperity, was made near St. Sebas"
tian in Brazil. In the botanic garden, six miles from that city, the government
incurred the expense of collecting rare and valuable exotics from opposite parts of the
world. To their growth and fructuosity both soil and climate were favourable, and the
plants of the East appeared to have suffered no diminution of vigour by transplantation.
A political lethargy, however, came over all Portuguese institutions, the influence of
which unfortunately extended to this once celebrated botanical collection ; and, were
it not for the zeal, taste, and judgment of Senor Gomez, the superintendent of a
powder-mill in the neighbourhood, the botanic garden of Saint Sebastian, like the
flowers of its annuals, would have passed away from sight and memory. This gen-
tleman, notwithstanding the defects of the establishment, continued, through the aid
of a few Chinese gardeners, to cultivate the tea-plant with great success. " It was
in seed at the time of my (Dr. Abel's) visit, and its leaves had been repeatedly and
effectually manufactured. Many other Chinese plants were growing here in full
vigour ; amongst those the tallow and wax trees, and camellia sasanqua, were the most
conspicuous." In later years than those in which Sir Henry Ellis and Dr. Abel visited
Brazil, the tea-plant was discovered growing wild in Assam by Mr. Bruce. This gen-
tleman traced it along the Brahmaputra from Jaipore in Lower Assam, to Joorhaut, the
capital of the upper province. It is found in the natural jungle which covers a large
portion of the country, and beneath the shade of which it grows luxuriantly. Under
the superintendence of the discoverer himself, the culture of tea was spiritedly com-
menced ; and, with the aid of Chinese cultivators, there is no reason to suppose that
it will not be ultimately able to compete with the large black-leafed tea, called, in
England, bohea, and in China ta-cha, or large tea.— (See the Culture, Manufacture,
and History of the Introduction of Tea into Europe, in var. loc. seq,)
THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA. 29
THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA."
O'er nclil and flood, o'er mountain, plain, and vale,
Like that vast dragon of a perish'd world,
Its hydra-heads of war and stony trail
Invasion daunt, and mock at hosts unfurl'd.
The Romanf thus did Afrie's snake arrest,
And the flush'd legions check, that fated Carthage press'd.
C. J. C.
A iiude state of society, the wandering habits of uncivilized nations, and a wrong esti-
mate of the quality of vengeance, may have rendered defensive military architecture both
necessary and effectual in the early ages of mankind. Simple earth-works for such objects
still survive in many countries, the annals of whose primitive people have become either
confused or extinct; besides, have not the Medes, Syrians, Egyptians, Romans, Picts,
and Welsh, left abiding evidence of the confidence which they placed in mural protec-
tion? Eastward of the Caspian sea a boundary wall was built by one of the successors
of Alexander the Great; and Tamerlane, too, did not despise the security which such
structures afforded. These two latter lines of separation and defence, like the great
wall of the Celestial Empire, were drawn, to restrain the sudden irruptions of nomade
Tartars. In all instances, however, in which the authors of these great records of past
time can be determined with certainty, the painful fact is presented, that in the most abso-
lute tyranny, and in the most abject slavery, such structures had their origin. This truth
detracts considerably from that feeling of pleasure with which the antiquary pursues an
inquiry into their origin, and reduces the investigation to the motive which actuated
some barbarian conqueror, who had succeeded in trampling upon the liberties of millions.
Voltaire views the Pyramids of Egypt as so many monuments of slavery, under the
weight of which, like the tomb of king Mausolus, the country long continued to groan.
And is he not justified in his conclusion, if the story told by Herodotus be true?—" In
one of the pyramids of Gizeh," says this ancient historian, " are entombed the bones
of Cheops ; in another, of his brother, Cephrenes. One hundred thousand men were
employed during twenty years in raising the greatest of these enormous works; and
from that period the memory of Cheops has been held in the utmost detestation by the
Egyptians." Such also are the feelings and recollections associated with the formation
of°the Chinese wall. It is said that every third man in the empire was drafted, and
obliged to assist in the building-that, being scantily supplied with food, four hundred
thousand died of hunger, ill-usage, and excessive fatigue; and, the Chinese sentence
which commemorates these miseries, characterizes the work itself as « the annihilation
of one generation, but salvation of a thousand." Nor can the slavery of the Egyptians,
• Wen-li-tchang-tching, " The Great- Wall of the Ten Thousand Li." It extends from the shores of the
Gulf of Pechele, 3i degrees east from Peking, to Sening, which is 15 degrees west of that city.
30 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
in constructing the pyramids, be compared with that of the Chinese in obeying the com-
mands of their imperial taskmaster, if the quantity of matter raised, and put together
by manual labour, in each case, be admitted as the criterion: for, "the materials of
all the dwelling-houses in Great Britain, allowing them to average on the whole two
thousand cubic feet of masonry, would be barely equivalent to the solid contents of the
Before the Mantchoo Tartars subjugated China Proper, the Great Wall, one of the
most o-igantic, yet perhaps one of the most senseless conceptions that ever occupied the
human intellect, was the northern boundary of the empire ; and it owes its foundation
to Chi-Hoang-Ti, of the fourth Tsin dynasty, who ascended the throne two hundred and
thirty-seven years before the birth of Christ, and was the first universal monarch of
China. Finding the petty princes of Tartary troublesome to his frontier subjects, he
sent an army against the former, and drove them into the recesses of their mountains,
and employed the latter, during this interval of rest, in building a rampart to exclude
all freebooters for the future. Some Chinese historians who abhor the memory of this
fierce despot, deny him even the unenviable merit of being the sole projector of this vast
work, asserting, that he only built the portion that bounds the province of Chen-si, the
other parts being raised by the different potentates whose respective kingdoms they
enclosed. This opinion, however, is not sufficiently supported, and history now con-
cedes to Chi-Hoang-Ti the undisputed authorship of this " wonder of the world."
It might also be argued, from the general character of this fiery prince, that he was,
most probably, the real originator of this colossal project. The quality of his ambition,
as well as of the chief actions by which he is remembered, lend an air of probability to
the statement. Having put all the Tartar princes of the neighbouring territories, and all
their male relatives, to cruel deaths, with the exception of the king of Tsi, whom he
enclosed within a pine-grove and left there to perish, he united their dominions to his
own. His next great public act was the colonizing of the Japan islands, by sending
thither three hundred young men and women, under the conduct of a gallant naval
officer, who soon, however, threw off his allegiance, and made himself sovereign lord
of the territory. The construction of the Great Wall would have been more than suffi-
cient to have perpetuated this monarch's fame, and most tyrants would have been
content with such a stupendous monument : but, such was the insatiable ambition of
Chi-Hoang-ti, that he resolved not only on immortalizing his own name, but on anni-
hilating those of his predecessors. To effect this most ungenerous object by a single
blow, he caused all the books in which the lives and actions of former emperors were
recorded, to be committed to the flames, with a degree of infamy unparalleled perhaps
in history, except in the instance of the Alexandrian library, which the Caliph Omar
is said to have destroyed in a similar manner.
* " To give another idea of the mass of matter in this stupendous fabric, it may be observed, that it is more
than sufficient to surround the circumference of the earth, on two of its great circles, with two walls, each six
feet high and two feet thicK."
THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA. 31
The eastern end of Chi-Hoang's wall extends into the Gulf of Leaou-tong,* in tin-
same latitude nearly as Peking. It consists of huge blocks of granite, resting on piles
or pedestals supposed to be composed of the hulks of ships filled with iron, which the
emperor caused to be sunk in the sea as a secure foundation. -|- Extending westward,
its fronts are finished with perfect accuracy, the workmen having been warned, on pain
of death, to close the joints with such exactitude that a nail could not be driven between
them. The style of building resembles that exhibited in the walls of Peking, and of
other fortified cities, the dimensions, however, being considerably greater. Its average
height is twenty feet, including five feet of parapet rising from the platform or ram-
part, which is fifteen from the ground-level. The thickness at the base is twenty-five
feet, and on the platform fifteen. The structure consists of two front or retaining walls,
two feet in thickness, the interval being filled up with earth, rubble-stone, or other
loose material. To the height of six feet, the fronts are of hewn granite ; the upper part
entirely of sun-dried brick of a blue colour. The platform, which is paved with brick, is
approached by stairs of the same material, or of stone, ascending so gradually that horses
do not refuse to tread them. In the province of Pecheli, the wall is terraced, and cased
with brick; as it enters Chensi it begins to be of inferior workmanship, sometimes only
of earth ; but, on the side of Cha-hou-keou, to which the Muscovite merchants come
direct from Selingisko in Siberia, it is again of stone and brick, with large and strong
towers always garrisoned. From this point southward, military posts are erected along
the banks of the Hoang-ho, in which guards are maintained, to keep the boundary
between the neighbouring provinces of Chan-si and Chen-si, and prevent the navigation
of the river by hostile tribes. Passing the Hoang-ho into the province of Chen-si, the
wall is generally of earth, in some places quite obliterated, but, in remarkable passes
it is defended by either towers or large towns,^ where military mandarins, with a strong
force, are usually stationed.
• " Our line lay along the shore of Tartary, where the Chinese wall meets the sea, not at the point generally
supposed, but at a large town apparently a place of great trade. This great work is seen sealing the precipices
and topping the craggy hills of the country, which have along this coast a most desolate appearance. Some of
the party who went in-shore in the steamer to within two miles' distance, made the discovery that the opinion
hitherto received from Lord Macartney's works, that the wall came down abruptly into the sea, was erroneous,
as it traverses a low flat for some miles from the foot of the mountains before entering the town, which stands
upon the water's edge." — Lord Jocehpis Journal, §c.
t The French missionaries who visited China in the eighteenth century, brought home a perfect represen-
tation of the whole Chinese wall, beautifully drawn on satin. The original has been mislaid, but copies are
preserved in the public libraries of Paris. When the emperors of the Ming dynasty had succeeded in expelling
the descendants of Kubhli Khan, the Mongol conqueror, a second wall was built to the west from Peking, and
considerably within that of Chi-Hoang-Ti. Besides this, a stockade or palisade, seven feet high, extends from
the sea-extremity of the wall, enclosing the Mougdon district of Leaou-tong ; but these defences, scarcely suffi-
cient to check the midnight thief, should not be confounded with the Great Wall of China,
X Such are, Qu-hing-hien, Ning-hia, Lan-tcheou, Kan-tcheou, Seu-tcheou, Si-ning.
32 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
Notwithstanding the frail character of the materials in several places, this great
national work, fifteen hundred miles in extent, has undoubtedly endured for two thou-
sand years, with but indifferent care and little restoration ; in fact, the union of the
countries on different sides of the wall, under the same dynasty, has rendered its aid
no longer necessary, and occasioned, therefore, its total neglect. There was a time
when a million of scimetars glittered along its length from east to west, but all fear of
invasion having subsided, government is now content with guarding the chief passes that
communicate with foreign countries. Wherever a river was to be passed, an arch or
arches of solid masonry was thrown across, protected by iron-grating, that dipped a little
into the waters, and effectually obstructed navigation, or rather ingress ; where moun-
tains occurred, the wall was made to climb their most rugged fronts, and in one instance
reaches an elevation of five thousand feet above the sea. Wherever the nature of the
ground rendered invasion easy, there the wall is double, treble, or as manifold as the
necessity of the case would appear to demand.
The principal gates are fortified only on the side of China, and there protected by
large flanking towers ; at intervals of every hundred yards along the wall stand embat-
tled towers, forty feet square at the base, thirty at the height of the platform of the wall,
and having sometimes one, sometimes two stories, above it. The first gate, or first
towards the sea-termination of the wall, is called Chang-hai-keou. It is beautifully
situated on an extensive plain, and memorable in history for the perfidy of its com-
mandant, who was the first to invite the Tartars of Leaou-tong to invade his country.
The other remarkable entrances are Hi- fong-keou, Tou-che-keou, Tehang-kia-keou,
the two latter the accustomed routes of the Tartars who visit Peking, and Kou-pe-keou,
through which the emperor Kang-hi generally passed to his summer-palace at Zehol
in Tartary, and by which the embassy under Lord Macartney had the good fortune
of being conducted to the same imperial residence.
Two views* of the Great Wall have been carefully taken by European travellers :
the one, at Koo-pe-koo, (Kou-pe-keou,) which is given in the accompanying illustration ;
the other by the draughtsmen who attended the Dutch embassy under Isbrand Ydes in
the year 1705. These embassies, representing different foreign courts, could not have
conspired to deceive their respective countries in describing this colossal labour; and,
even if they had, we have still the evidence of the French missionaries, who brought
home a sketch of the whole line of vallation. This mass of evidence, this concurring
testimony of different men in different, ages, is more than sufficient to overturn the vain
suspicions of some literary sceptics, who would conclude, from Marco Polo's silence,
that no such work as the Great Wall of China ever had a real existence. But the
following extract, from an ambassadorial journal, affords an a priori proof f that Marco
Polo's silence is not to be ascribed to the non-existence of the wall, but to a very
* A third, taken by the draughtsman who accompanied the late expedition, is preserved at the Admiralty.
t Vide also the extract from Lord Jocelyn's " Six Months with the Chinese Expedition," in p. 31.
BAMBOO AQUEDUCT AT HONG-KONG. 33
different cause— his never having travelled so far north. "A copy of Marco Polo's
route to China, taken from the Doge's library at Venice, is sufficient to decide this
question. By this route it appears that this traveller did not pass through Tartary to
Pekin, but that after having followed the usual track of the caravans as far to the
eastward from Europe as Samarcand and Cashgar, he bent his course south-east across
the river Ganges to Bengal; and, keeping to the southward of the Thibet mountains,
reached the Chinese province of Chen-si, and through the adjoining province of Chan-si
to the capital, without interfering with the line of the Great Wall."
BAMBOO AQUEDUCT AT HONG-KONG.
Could painter wish for fairer scene
Than beetling cliffs 'mid bowers of green,
With rivulet below;
Methinks a sylvan aqueduct,
His happy genius might instruct
Across the wave to throw.
C. J. C.
Few areas so limited include so many soenes of sylvan beauty as the sunny island of
Hong-kong. The country immediately behind Queen- town is peculiarly rich in
romantic little glens, or in level tracts, adorned with masses of rock, in the fissures of
which the noblest forest-trees have found sufficient soil for their support.
These wood-crowned crags rise abruptly from wide-spread rice-grounds that closely
encircle them ; so that every spot in the varied surface of the isle is either reduced
beneath the government of industry, or made tributary to the beauty of the landscape.
There is one narrow gorge, down which a rivulet sluggishly glides towards the open sea,
overhung by huge blocks of granite, piled up to a considerable height, and with a regu-
larity resembling a work of art. A clump of luxuriant trees bestows upon it an interest
of the utmost value to the picture ; but its bold, rugged, and obtrusive attitude, contrasts
strongly and singularly with the cultivated character of the surrounding view. Habi-
tual industry has so far tutored the mind of every Chinaman, that this barren rock which
lends shelter and ornament to the landscape, is made still further useful as the pillar
for sustaining a simple aqueduct, by which water is conveyed across the gorge, and
employed in the irrigation of a distant arid plain, which otherwise would have been
doomed to eternal sterility. This work of art is an example of the perseverance
which characterises Chinese industry, and the accustomed tact and aptitude with which
it employs the most slender means, and appropriates the most unaccommodating
The surface of Hong-kong is undulating, the climate sultry, the soil shallow ; of
the first quality advantage has been taken by encouraging the growth of timber in the
34 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
glens, within which the loveliest hamlets may be seen embosomed ; the shade and the
shelter of foliage mitigate, in some degree, the ferocity of a tropical sun ; and, industry,
unequalled in any other kingdom, has converted a soil the most discouraging into one
the most productive. It is for agricultural purposes, chiefly, that such primitive con-
trivances as the bamboo aqueduct are employed ; but the value and utility of this tree
are so universally understood in the eastern parts of Asia, that, even were other
materials present, they very probably would be repudiated.
The bamboo-cane* is a very beautiful and a very elegant species of reed, hollow,
round, straight, having knots on the stem at every ten or twelve inches, alternate
branches, spear-shaped leaves, and sometimes attaining a height of forty feet. A native
of the tropical regions of both hemispheres, it however attains more complete maturity
in the east, where it is held in the highest estimation, and devoted to infinite uses. We
have shown in the illustration that the stem, when bored, is made a conduit for water ;
the strongest serve as stakes to fence enclosures of every sort, and as poles for palan-
quins and doolies, in which masters are commonly carried by their servants in Oriental
countries ; the leaves are generally placed round the tea exported from China to
Europe, and the young shoots of the tree have long served in Great Britain as
favourite walking-sticks. The Malays preserve the young and tender shoots in vinegar
and pepper, to be eaten with other food ; and the Chinese steep the sheaths and leaves
in water, form them into a pulp, and from it manufacture paper. Baskets, boxes, and
boats, are made from this valuable reed, as well as a frame-work which enables the pos-
sessor to float in the water. Chinese merchants seldom undertake a voyage unsupplied
with one of these bamboo life-preservers, or swimming apparatus ; it consists of four
reeds crossed horizontally, leaving a space in the middle for the body; it is slipped
over the head, and secured by a cord to the waist. Simplicity is in all cases, but espe-
cially in those where presence of mind is likely to forsake us, of the first importance ;
and, as no floating apparatus can exceed the Chinese in this chief quality, so none
comes better recommended to the mariner.
Nor do the advantages of the bamboo terminate with these now described. It is
employed for masts, poles, sails, cables, rigging, and caulking ; and, when insubordination
makes its appearance amongst the crew, it is the instrument in the hand of power which
cures or extinguishes it. Some only of its rural purposes have been already noticed; it
is also introduced to embellish the garden of the prince — to cover the cottage of the
peasant; it is employed in carts, wheelbarrows, water-wheels, sacking to hold grain, and
various other objects. Besides serving for aqueducts from hill to hill, bridges to continue
land-transit are successfully and gracefully formed of this beautiful tree. In Java, " the
bridges were universally constructed of bamboo, and covered with bamboo mats; their
lightness and elasticity give them the appearance of being insecure ; this is, however, by-
no means the case, unless suffered to remain too long without repair : the sudden and
frequent swelling of the small streams, from heavy showers, would undermine bridges of
* Bnmbusa Arundinacea
PUNISHMENT OF THE PAN-TZE. 35
more solid construction, which, from being of more expensive materials, would not be
so readily or so attentively repaired."*
There are few objects or purposes to which Chinese industry cannot appropriate
the bamboo-cane; its extensive application to architecture, agriculture, navigation,
manufactures, and even as food, have been described; its appropriation to domestic
conveniences is equally universal. Almost every article of furniture in a Chinese habi-
tation is made from the bamboo : chairs, tables, screens, bedsteads, bedding, paper,
various kitchen utensils; and it is by the friction of two pieces of cane that the servants
obtain light or fire at early dawn in almost e^ery house in China.
PUNISHMENT OF THE PAN-TZE, OR BASTINADO.
Art thou a man ?— So is the wretch that lies,
Trampled, and rack'd, and bleeding at thy feet,
Art thou a man ?— Regard thy destinies ;
Nor worse than hound thine erring brother treat.
The spaniel howls and fawns while you chastise ;
But hate swells vice, when man like dog is beat.
C. J. c.
Destitute of the knowledge of Christian ethics-unacquainted with the science of
political economy, as understood and practised in the civilized kingdoms of the western
world, the Chinese are, nevertheless, the most tractable subjects in the universe. r l Ins
most desirable end has been obtained, and preserved through thousands of years, by
means simple yet not secret; principles known to other countries, and acted on with
equal success; and when departed from, the decadence of that state seems to have been
a consequence either necessary or contingent. This principle of ruling-this basis of
national subordination, political, military, and civil is "the patriarchal theory of
srovernment." In the infantile state, dependence and inferiority are conceded ; and the
parent, having obtained the silent recognition of his rule, enforces it in the more
advanced stages of life; nor is the child ever supposed to be released from the bonds
and obligations of filial duty and affection. To this system of parental authority the
imperial government of China is analogical. The emperor is father of his people, as
a parentis of his children. When he chastises them for neglect or delinquency, they are
taught to believe that he acts with reluctance, and that the correction which he inflicts
is for their personal benefit. His mandarins, being delegates of his power, are received
with the same sentiment of filial devotion ; and it is this morbid morality that saves these
self-sufficient functionaries from the retaliation which their tyranny so frequently
• Journal of an Embasy to China, by Sir Henry Ellis.
36 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
deserves. Pursuing the analogy— as parents punish, and even kill, their offspring and
their slaves for disobedience, theft, or petty treason, so may the Pater Patrice, or his
representatives, act under similar circumstances. And, although capital punishments are
rarely inflicted, and no monarch that we read of exercises the prerogative of mercy
more meritoriously than the Celestial Emperor, yet the influence of its terror, aided bv
the whip and bamboo, succeed in preserving the most extraordinary and admirable tran-
quillity, and in the most densely peopled country in the world.
The Pan-tze, or Bastinado, is the punishment most frequently inflicted in every part
of China, and for almost every species of offence, the number of blows being regulated
by the magnitude of the guilt. The culprit is usually brought to some public place
outside the city walls, and, in presence of a mandarin and guard of soldiers, beaten by-
slaves kept for the purpose. If the crime be serious, and a proportionate punishment
to be inflicted, the criminal is held down by one or more slaves, while the chief actor
furnished with a half-bamboo, six feet in length and about two inches broad, strikes
him on the back part of the thighs. Upon the termination of this degrading ceremony,
the offender, impressed with the habitual feeling that he has been flogged like a school-
boy for his future benefit, falls prostrate before the attending mandarin, and returns
thanks for his parental vigilance and anxiety.
The missionaries who visited the Celestial empire in the early part of last century,
seemed disposed to view the bastinado as a mere gentle correction, arising solely from
kindness in the inflictor ; and they thought also that the peasant had no grounds of
remonstrance against its humiliating character, since the prime minister and the princes
of the empire were also subjected to its wholesome discipline. But it would be vain,
nugatory, and degrading, in this land of freedom and personal independence, to attempt
any defence of so gross and debasing an act of despotism. It is a matter of doubt
whether the prince who imposes, or the people who submit to this humiliating treat-
ment, be the more despicable in the opinion of a Christian community.
The Pan-tze is rendered almost fashionable by the example of the court, and the
universality of its application. "Each officer of state, from the ninth degree upwards
to the fourth, can at any time administer a gentle correction to his inferior : and the
emperor orders the bamboo to his ministers, and to the other four classes, whenever he
may think it necessary for the good of their morals." The emperor Kien-Long ordered
two of his sons to be bambooed long after they had reached to the age of maturity, and
one of these princes afterwards succeeded him on the throne.
It is some satisfaction to the poor, that the rich are also included under the same
criminal code ; but, as the administration of the Pan-tze is often entrusted to men of
cruel dispositions, the highest injustice constantly disfigures the whole executive system.
A Chinaman generally submits with patience to his fate, but a Tartar never gives
thanks to the mandarin, recollecting that his nation subdued the Chinese, and concluding
therefore that they have no right, to flog him. The paternal origin and nature of the
bastinado are still more distinctly shown during the ceremony, the sufferer having the
privilege of exemption from every fifth blow, if he demands it as the emperor's coup-de-
TEMPLE OF BUDDHA. 37
grace ; but what he gains by diminished numbers, he most probably loses by increased
This degrading secondary punishment is evidently amongst the most ancient insti-
tutions of China; and its continuance is a palpable proof that civilization has been
stationary for many centuries in that great empire. There was once a savage custom in
the British army, of obliging a military culprit "to run the gauntlet;" that is, to pass
down between two long ranks of men, every one of whom inflicted a lash upon him as
he went. As such disgrace was reserved for the most heinous ofTences only, the chas-
tisement was often so severe that death was the inevitable consequence. This cruel
practice, however, no longer disgraces our military code. In Russia, too, a punish-
ment existed called the knout, similar to the gauntlet and bastinado. It was at first
inflicted privately, and by order of the court, but afterwards extended generally to the
whole people : civilization, however, has thence also expelled this insult to humanity.
When the knout was inflicted in Russia, the forms of society and the manners of the
court were in a low and rude condition ; the Czar Peter was in the habit of striking
his courtiers with his clenched fist ; and the great Menzikoff was frequently seen to
make his exit from the royal closet with marks of violence on his countenance. Histo-
rians gravely assure us that these bruises were so many tokens of his master's sterling
friendship. It may be so : for our William the Conqueror having failed in winning
the affections of the lady Matilda by a fair and gentle suit, followed her as she returned
from prayers clad in her richest garments, and pushed her into a slough in the public
streets. This stratagem succeeded when all other devices failed.
TEMPLE OF BUDDHA
IN THE SUBURBS OF CANTON.
The tocsin's clang, the drum, the gong's deep boom,
And trumpet's bray, and bonze's awful cry.
In Buddha's name calls (like the voice of doom
To courts of death) the crouching votary.
Hark ! with the din the groan of pain unites,
And crowns the music of his idol-rites.
C. J. C.
There are three ancient state religions prevalent in China, the principles of which
have been explained with more elaboration and erudition, than their morals or their
origin deserve. The first, or most orthodox, is that of Confucius (Koong-foo-tsze,)
which is rather a system of ethics than a systematic faith, and never intended as
a distinct theological structure, but as the basis or foundation upon which new theories
might be built. The sect of Tao-tsze, or " Sons of Immortals," called also " Ration-
alists," embrace doctrines dangerous in practice and disreputable in precept : they exalt
reason above revelation, from which they have evidently plundered their specious philo-
38 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
sophy, — all recollection of the past, and thought of the future, being repudiated. This
is that sect before-mentioned which, like the Cartesians of Europe, disgraced their
philosophy by the pretended discovery of a nostrum, or specific, for the prolongation of
human life beyond those limits which the wisdom and pleasure of the Creator had
assigned. Lao-kung and Confucius were either contemporaries, or lived at a short
interval from each other ; but their doctrines are widely separated. The one sought to
captivate the heart and the judgment by virtuous and rational theories — the other to
surprise and to win them by means that ministered to the gratification of the passions.
Time has disclosed the hypocrisy of one, but sanctified the dignity of the other : for the
" Sons of Immortals" are little higher in national esteem than mountebanks and jugglers,
while the elite of the empire are disciples of Confucius. The third predominant faith
is the second in popularity; and however exposed to the ridicule, or rather pity, of
those upon whom the light of revelation has beamed, it derives many of its maxims
from the holy writings; the histories and prophecies of which have obviously been
conveyed into China either by zealous missionaries or by travelled Chinamen.
These three theories of Confucians, Rationalists, and Buddhists must be viewed as
totally distinct and separate sources, in each of which respectively a multitude of separa-
tists or sectaries originate. Dissent appears to prevail in every country that has adopted
a settled general form of worship, and discord has almost invariably attended its path ;
but in China this is not found to be the case. Here universal toleration is said to
prevail: — yet how can the term "toleration" be appropriate, where "religion," to which
alone Christians apply it, has cle facto no existence ? The aristocracy are disciples of
the Confucian philosophy — the monarch bends his head and bows his knee before the
golden shrine of Thibetian Buddhism; and idolatry prevails throughout the land.
Yu, the theory of Confucius, is purely philosophical, — Taoii, that of Lao-kung,
fabulous, — aud Fo, that of Bhudda, political. The first is merely the doctrine of the
Stoics — the second, of the Epicureans — and the third, of Pythagoras. They have each
separately borrowed their ruling dogmas from their favourite prototype, but all have
combined in spoliating the ancient Scriptures.
Buddhism is most probably of Indian or Hindoo origin, but being expelled thence
by the learning, zeal, and influence of the Brahmins, sought an asylum elsewhere. Its
doctrines spread into Japan, Thibet, and China; in all which great countries, as well as
in the island of Ceylon, it still exists. It is also asserted that the exiled priesthood visited
Colchis and Mingrelia, and, passing thence into Thrace, there laid the foundation of
those institutions which civilized the Hellenes and Pelasgi. According to Indian writers,
Buddha, whose historic name was Tshakia-muni, was born under the reign of Tshao-
wang, of the Tsheu dynasty, b. c. 1029, and died b. c. 950, in the reign of Mou-wang.
Having initiated his disciple, Maha-kaya, in the mysteries of his doctrine, this priest
became the senior patriarch of the religion, and is placed at the head of thirty-three holy
Buddhists, whose names and chronological succession are carefully recorded. Buddha is
regularly deified ; and the patriarchs, several of whom voluntarily cast themselves into
the flames, and expired in torture to attest their faith, are duly canonized and placed in
TEMPLE OF BUDDHA. ,T<)
Chinese mythology. Maming, (in Chinese, Phu-sa — in Sanscrit, Devn Bodhisatua,) who
gave names to the gods of the second class, is worshipped as the son of Buddha, and as
born from his mouth, because by his eloquence he perfected and established his doc-
trines. Other patriarchs were also celebrated in India, from which Bodhichorma with-
drew the last of all, and finding a safe retreat at the foot of the famous Sung mountain
in China, there passed the residue of his exemplary life.
The wealth, influence, and resources of this ancient order, were inconceivahly
great. They were enabled, by the terrors of their doctrines alone, to raise up vast heaps
of treasure, and to acquire immense gratuitous contributions of labour. The evidences
of their influence upon the feelings of their followers is well attested by the gigantic
proportions of the ruined temple of Boro-Budor, in Java, and by the five subterranean
halls of Pantsh-Pandu, near the city of Bang, on the route from Guzerat to Malwa.
It is from the Hindoo patriarch, who died in the fifth century of the Christian era, that
the general Oriental histories deduce the establishment of Buddhism in the Celestial
Empire, and the first ordination of those priests called " spiritual princes of the law ;"
but their account differs considerably from that of the Chinese. The Hindoos represent
their saint as of royal race, and an avatar or incarnation of Vishnu. In the century that
preceded our era, Buddhism was the predominant religion in India, and embraced,
amongst others, by the famous monarch, Vikramaditya ; but the triumph of Brahmin-
ism in Hindoostan was completed in the sixth century by the writings of Camavila
The Chinese origin of this contemptible creed, while it almost demonstrates the
assertion made in the preceding page, that Confucius only designed his philosophy
as the moral substructure of a religious fabric, assigns a much earlier date to its intro-
duction than has just been stated. Amongst the sayings of Confucius that assume
a prophetic tone, there is one that foretels the advent of some saint from the West.
Ming-ti, of the Han dynasty, who reigned in the century before our vulgar era, influ-
enced by this passage, despatched emissaries to India in search of the promised holy
person. Their efforts were soon crowned with success; and they quickly returned,
bringing with them, not one only, but a multitude of Buddhist priests, with their books,
and their idols, and instruments of sacrifice and ceremony. These learned immigrants told
a tale that the founder, who had abdicated his throne and retired to a monastery, was
metamorphosed, after a life of prayer and abstinence, directly into the god Fo — his trans-
migration being an example of the metempsychosis, the medium through which his
followers inculcate the doctrine of rewards and punishments. They added, that the
queen-mother of this demi-god once dreamed that she had swallowed a white elephant,
to which circumstance is to be traced the reverence paid to this sagacious animal in
Pegu and Ava. Buddhism recognizes " three precious ones" — the past, present, and
future: for Fo, "although one person, has three forms," analogous to, or identical with
Buddha, Darma, and Sanga; that is, "Intelligence, Law, and Union." It is suffi-
ciently evident that Buddhism, although so ancient, far-spread, and popular amongst
the Chinese, is a mere concoction of traditions imported by crafty priests, and
40 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
precepts extracted from the sacred Scriptures. Their moral code partakes of the
same character : it prohibits murder, or the act of killing, theft, impurity, falsehood, and
But its plagiary from the Scriptures proceeds much farther. Amongst the countless
idols that occupy the Buddhist and indeed all other temples, there is one that cannot
fail to attract the notice of the Christian visitant ; nor is his astonishment dispelled by
the explanation which the Bonze gives of its origin and object. This is a female figure,
usually represented with an infant in her arms, which they designate as Tien-hoiv,
"Queen of Heaven;" and also, "Shing-moo," "Holy Mother." The greatest care is
employed in preserving this figure from injury : it is generally placed in a niche behind
the altar, and veiled with a silken screen; and a glory, or nimbus, encircles its head.
The legend says that a virgin having gone to bathe in the great river, left her garments
on the bank, and on her return found a beautiful lotus flower lying upon them. Having
eaten the flower, she bore a son, whom a poor fisherman educated, and the miracles
which he performed established the divine origin of his birth. It is unnecessary to
state the real source of this fable. The figure of the Shing-moo is sometimes in the
attitude of prayer, sometimes upright holding the lotus-flower in her hand ; at. others,
seated on the peltate leaf of that beautiful plant. In paintings, the Shing-moo is often
represented standing upon the leaves of the nelumbium in the midst of a lake. Egyp-
tians and Hindoos have also attributed an influence or charm to this remarkable species
of water-lily, considering it emblematic of creative power. "The leaves of each suc-
ceeding plant are found evolved in the middle of the seed, perfect, and of a beautiful
green. When the sun goes down, the large leaves that spread themselves over the
surface of the water, close like an umbrella, and the returning sun gradually unfolds
them. Now, as these nations considered water to be the primary element, and the first
medium on which creative influence began to act, a plant of such singularity, luxu-
riance, utility, and beauty, could not fail to be regarded by them as a proper symbol
for representing that creative power, and was accordingly consecrated, by the one, to
Osiris and Isis, emblems of the sun and moon ; by the other, to the goddess Ganga and
to the sun." This coincidence is alluded to in the well-known Hindoo hymn to Surya
or the sun —
" Lord of the Lotus, father, friend, and king,
O Sun ! thy powers I sing," &c.
It may be supposed that the dedication of the lotus to sacred objects was prior to
the introduction of Buddhism into China: for we find that the fable of eating the
lotus-flower is ascribed to the mother of their first emperor, Foo-shee ; nor is there
any sect in the Celestial Empire which neglects to reverence the lady and the lotus ;
all concurring also in the belief, that it is from the flower of this lily that the bodies of
their saints are to be reproduced.
Buddhism encourages its votaries by promises of sensual indulgence in the "Paradise of
the West," and deters them from apostasy and sin by threats of the most painful corporal
II MIM.i: OF BUDDHA. 41
punishment in their imagined Tartarus. The pleasures appear less attractive than
those which Mahomet describes, the penalties infinitely more barbarous than those
which other false doctrines menace. When the ten kings of darkness have passed
sentence upon a soul in their shadowy hall of justice, the guilty are submitted to the
most frightful tortures. Some are tied to burning pillars of brass — some are brayed in
a mortar — others are sawn in two — liars have their tongues cut out — thieves their hands
amputated, or are themselves cast upon a surface of knife-blades. The blessed, and
the virtuous, having first witnessed these heart-rending exhibitions, which must prove
no moderate penalty upon benevolent souls, ascend to paradise, and thence pass into
other bodies; the guilty enter and animate the corporeal forms of lower animals, whose
lots are of the most agonizing and unhappy character.
This system of fable, falsehood, and folly has many millions of admirers, and
actually some millions of ministers, who assume the highest degree of sanctity and
devotion to their calling. In every part of the empire are temples and monasteries of
this absurd faith, sustained in some instances with an extravagance that is seldom
exceeded by the followers of any other. In Canton there is one, situated a little to the
west of the old English factory, less gorgeous in its decorations than those of Honau or
Poo-too, but held in boundless esteem by the sect. The front, or entrance, consists of
a low colonnade, ascended by a central flight of steps leading into a quadrangle, on
one side of which is a long range of dormitories, on the other a gallery enclosed
by railing, occupied by the " three precious Buddhas." Every frieze, or band, or panel
that occurs in the architectural design, is inscribed with a sentence from the sacred
writings, inculcating a moral precept, or alarming the indolence of the votaries. This
practice is in itself a proof of the diffusion of education, to a certain extent, amongst the
Chinese, for it is not confined to places of worship, where the hierophants are present
to decipher the maxims — private houses, villas, entrances to all places of business, are
also inscribed with the name or object of the building or locality. Passing from the first
court, a second is reached, which is placed under the tutelage of two huge grim-visaged
golden giants, in the act of gnashing their great teeth, and at the same time grasping their
monstrous sabres. A third court is to be crossed, before the principal hall of the temple,
the place of the high altar, is entered. In the centre of this apartment, which is less
spacious than that appropriated to the Buddhist triad, is a pillar or pedestal of yellow
gypsum, formed from a single block, and carved with a degree of skill and excellence
scarcely to be surpassed. On its front panel is the figure of a female seated on a lion,
and holding an infant in her lap; the character of the countenance is not Chinese,
neither is the contour of the head. Above the square pillar rises a spiral cone, termi-
nating in two elongated balls. The superiority of the design and perfection of the work-
manship favour the conclusion that this exquisite sculpture is the production of foreign
artists; but the avowed contempt in which the performances of strangers have always
been held by the Celestials, presents an insurmountable objection. The temple-hall is an
oblong area, the roof being sustained by wooden pillars resting on stone feet or pedestals.
A spacious lantern admits a full flood of light, and drapery of richly-embroidered silk
42 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
depends from its outline, while midnight lanterns of various patterns hang from the
cross-beam of the roof. An altar-table, encircling the pillar, is crowded with censers,
vases filled with artificial flowers, burning tapers, and torches ready for illumination.
Beautiful china jars are laid along at intervals, containing a fine blue earth, into which the
joss-sticks are fixed, and beside them bowls or cups with sticks-of-fate for fortune-
telling. The joss-sticks are combustible, and are constantly burning in the temples and
joss-houses : — the sticks-of-fate are consulted by both sexes, and upon occasions of little
as well as great importance. Before the altar, mandarins are frequently seen bowing
their heads, sometimes striking their foreheads against the pavement ; a ceremony gene-
rally, and not unnaturally, followed by a deep groan. Around are loiterers, musicians,
servants waiting to hold umbrellas over their mandarin-masters' heads, even during the
solemn ceremony of knocking them against the stone, besides numerous officials of
the temple. The chief duty of the latter is to strike a tremendous gong, and beat
a deep-toned drum of monstrous size and covered with ox-hide, while a great bell is
tolled occasionally, and small ones rang without cessation, to arouse the votaries, and
perhaps the sleepy gods themselves are also included in the vain expectation.
It would be an endless task to describe the number of objects that fill these idol-
houses, and an impossible one to explain with truth and accuracy the ideas attached to
the worship of each image : the very hierophants themselves are ignorant of the origin of
the majority ; and the votaries of this polytheism, so long habituated to image- worship,
select from the multitude of their gods, the one most pleasing to their own conceptions'
and bestow upon it the largest share of their mistaken veneration. — Vide Poo-ta-la, p. 20.
IMPERIAL PALACE AT TSEAOU-SHAN.
How pleasantly bestud dark Lomond's wave
Her tufted aits, by builder's art unbroke !
Her trimly-terraced group how smiles to lave
Blue girdling Maggiore ! But, to yoke
On islet-cluster man's and nature's best, —
Come, sail (our bark shall waft) on golden Keang's breast.
C. J. C.
About three miles north-east from Chin-keang-foo, the provincial capital of Keang-nan,
from the broad bright waters of the Yang-tse-keang, rise the picturesque and preci-
pitous rocky islets called "the three hills of King-kow. " Nature has been bountiful to
them in all respects, and, from immemorial time, they have also largely partaken of the
smiles of their imperial rulers. These are the " Kin-shan," or "Golden Island" — the
" Pih-koo-shan," and " Tseaou-shan." The first, perhaps one of the most romantic and
* King-kow means " the Mouth of the King River ;" a name applied to the Yang-tsze-keang.
I 1. 1 ■ ■■;.'!,. hi. i 1 1
IMPERIAL PALACE AT TSEAOI -SH IN. 43
agreeable localities in the empire, was anciently called " the Floating Jade." but
auriferous veins being discovered in its rocks, it received its present appellation. Mere
also is a fountain of the purest water, from which the mandarins of the surrounding
country are supplied ; and a faithless messenger, who once endeavoured to impose upon
Le-tlh, the imperial prime-minister, by substituting water from a well at Shih-tow, for
the crystal draught of the "Chung-ling," paid the penalty of his indolence and temerity.
Near to the summit of the Kin-shan is the celebrated mound of Pei-tow, of the Tang
dynasty ; while, impending over the Pool of the Dragon King, and close to its shores,
is the Shen-tsae rock.
The Tseaou-shan rises with even more abruptness and varied forms than the Kin-shan.
Enclosed by mural cliffs, landing is denied except at the place of debarkation formed in
the cliffs, whence communication with the palace, the temples, and different buildings on
the rock, is formed by nights of countless steps. Tseaou-yin-sze-kwang, the recluse
Tseaou-kwang, or Tseaou-seen, a mandarin of ancient ancestry, in the district of Ho-
tung, of profound learning and austere habits, and who lived about the close of the Han
dynasty, suddenly renouncing society, withdrew in secret from the imperial capital to
a concealed asylum on a little island 'midst the waters of the great Keang, that now
records his name. Here he dwelt in the utmost seclusion for many years, a devotee, or,
more properly, a misanthrope — the secret of his hermitage never having been revealed to
either his associates, his relatives, or his friends. He here erected a cell or chapel,
which still remains; and close by it he built a lowly hut of turf, and thatched it with
matted grass. To guard still further against the chance of discovery, he laid aside his
appellation of Heaou-jen, and adopted that by which he is known to the story-tellers
of his country. In this sequestered spot he might have passed his useless and inglorious
life, and gone down unnoticed to the tomb, had not an accidental fire destroyed his
home, and disclosed to the navigators of the river the presence of an inhabitant of the rock.
After this event he was seen wandering from crag to crag almost in a state of nudity,
and often observed reposing, amidst the winds and the snow, upon the unsheltered earth.
His real rank and character being now ascertained, commissioners from the emperor
landed on the islet, and proceeding to the glen chiefly frequented by the recluse of the
island, there summoned him to return to court by an edict three times repeated. Their
invitation was unavailing ; Tseaou had forsaken the busy haunts of man, and the ambas-
sadors returned with his refusal to their illustrious master. The scene of this interview
is called in commemoration, "The San-chaou-tung," or " Ravine of the Three Citations;"
and around are seen a number of upright stones standing at regular distances, which
legends call "the Councillors of Heaou-jen." To those who have visited that singula]
pagan relic in Cornwall, called the Hurlers, the scenery of the Ravine of the Three
Citations will be at once familiar.
Tradition or legendary lore is not the sole authority on which the story of Tseaou's
eremitic life depends; his biography has been carefully collected by Tsae-yung, who
wrote the narrative of his long concealment, in which he erroneously styles the subject
of his memoir " Kwang," instead of " Seen."
44 CilKVA ILLUSTRATED.
Nothing can exceed the picturesque irregularity of the surface of this isle : and, so
established has this sentiment of admiration become in the empire, that a mural tablet
at the gate of the temple of Tsin-tse declares this rock to be " the first and the fairest ot
all the hills on earth," Too-vvoo-kung being subscribed as the author of this brief but
laudatory memorial. Ascending the rocky flights that lead from the landing-place to the
grottoes in the hill, the words fow yuh are perceived cut in the tall cliff in characters
large and legible, graven by Chaou, who flourished under the Sung dynasty. Immediately
in front of this "handwriting on the wall," another projecting crag is inscribed " shih-
ping," (the Rocky Screen,) and this characteristic name sufficiently describes the value of
the eminence as a protection against the winds that sweep across the river's course from
north to south. Tseaou's chapel, which lends its still-abiding form to verify the tales of
tradition, is known as the " Kwan-yin-ko'' or " Gallery of the Goddess of Mercy ;" in front
is a rich plantation of bamboos, between the pillary stems of which the graceful form of
the Golden Island may be traced. On the eastern slope of the island stands the " Keih-
keang-ting," Drink-river Hall, the site of an ancient pagoda which was destroyed by fire
in the reign of Hung-woo, the first emperor of the Ming dynasty, which preceded the
present Tsing or Tartar; a Hall of Ancestors, was erected from its ruins. On the highest
peak is the " Ta-pei-ting," or " the Shen-tsae Hall," belonging to the Sung dynasty ;
its site was anciently occupied by the " Lo-han-yen," that is, the mountain-terrace of the
immediate disciples of Buddha. This title the emperor Le-tsung, of the Sung dynasty,
caused to be written " in three large characters" to attract the attention of after ages.
From this very elevated station the view of the three islands, of the picturesque and
unequal country around Chin-keang-foo, of the winding waters of the Yang-tze-keang,
and the vast extent of landscape which the coup-d'ceil comprehends, is unrivalled in
all the central provinces ; here, says a Chinese topographer, " the eye in the heavens
has no limit but the span of the clouds — nor on the river, but the wind-blown sail."
Hallowed by antiquity, reverenced from its religious or superstitious associations, and
wrapped in all the interest that the most romantic legends can impart, the imperial ruler
of the Chinese, with an admirable taste, directed that ruin should withhold its ravages
amidst the walls of the pagoda, and chapel and hermitage on Tseaou-shan ; that the
ancestral halls should be restored, and apartments suitable for the reception of majesty,
during official visits to the province of Keang-nan, be constructed and maintained. This
felicitous command has been complied with : and the emperor, in the spring and autumn
of the year, enjoys the refreshing breezes from the Yang-tse-keang in his gay pavilion on
the rock, or witnesses from its casements the sport of fishing with the trained cormorant.
" We saw," says a modern traveller, " on the Paou-ying-hoo, an extensive swamp or
lake on our right, five or six boats crowded with the fishing-birds, which they called
Yu-ying, ' fishing-hawk,' and others Yu-yu, ' fishing-duck,' without much regard to
physical accuracy. We prevailed on one of the men to bring his boat close to the shore,
and had a narrow view of them. They stand about as high as a goose, but are not so
heavy in make, with a very long bill, the upper mandible of which is hooked at the end,
like all birds that prey on so slippery a subject as fish. Their colour on the back is
RAREE-SHOW AT LIN-SIN-CHOO. 4.>
darkish, approaching to black, and they appear to be something between a pelican and
a cormorant The people. were very unwilling to sell them, and with sufficient reason,
as the difficulty of training them for the service of the fishing-boats must be consider-
able. They were all secured by the leg, and some had a ring fastened loosely round the
neck to prevent their gulping the fish." To the ring a cord is attached, also tied to
one of the legs, and whenever the diver loiters, he is pulled towards the boat, into which
he is lifted by along bamboo cane having a hook at the end of it. The bamboo, after
the manner of Chinese legislation, is frequently applied to the cormorant's back when-
ever he becomes lazy, and its effect in sending him down is instantaneous.
Tseaou-shan is readily distinguished from the two islands adjacent, not only by its
rude rocky stages, but by a number of large characters cut in the cliff, a little above
the water-level, and known as the Eu-ho inscription, as well as by two tall slender rocks,
resembling the Needles off the west end of the Isle of Wight, which the Chinese call
Hae-mun, "the Sea Gate."
RAREE-SHOW AT LIN-SIN-CHOO.
" Why is a handsome wife adored
By every coxcomb hut her lord ? — ■
From yonder puppetman inquire,
Who wisely hides his wood and wire."
The Imperial Canal commences, correctly speaking, at the city of Lin-sin-choo,* in the
province of Shan-tung ; but, a propensity to exaggeration has induced the Chinese to
include, in their representation of its extent, all the navigable rivers, which form a
laro-e portion of this great line of inland navigation. They pretend that it originates
northward at Tien-sing on the river Pei-ho, and terminates southward at Hang-chow-foo
in the province of Kiang-nan, which is not exactly the case : for the north terminus of
the Cha-ho, or " river of flood-gates," is not higher up than Lin-sin-choo. There the
Pei-ho communicates with the canal openly, and evenly, without lock or dam ;— and, along
its course, which, however, is improperly described as a reach of the canal, the gentle
current is arrested at intervals by flood-gates of native invention ; they consist of two
stone piers or jetties, about thirty feet apart, between which loose planks are let down
in guiding grooves. These partitions seldom occasion a difference of a foot in the level
of the water, and, to protect and manage them, a strong body of soldiers, or military
police, is always stationed near the banks. Their guard-houses are amongst the most
interesting objects along the line of this sluggish river, which traverses a flat, swampy,
and rather thinly-peopled country. The vicinity of Lin-sin-choo has long been the
rendesvouz of carriers, who here transfer their burdens from one description of junk to
* Also written Lintsinchow.
40 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
another, — exchange commodities, engage and dismiss trackers, or transact other matters,
necessarily connected with an entrepot so centrally situated for inland trade. Seated at
the head of the Imperial Canal, the great commercial highway of the empire, this city has
acquired and still possesses a degree of veneration ; and, it is the opinion of European
travellers that the splendid pagoda of nine stories, which here adorns the landscape, was
erected to mark the entrance of the Cha-ho, and perhaps commemorate its opening.
In this light it may be viewed as a beautiful monument of a great and useful public
undertaking ; but if its destination be analogous to those of all similar structures in
this land of polytheism, it deserves like them to share the universal contempt of many
creeds. In form, the pagoda of Lin-sin-choo is octagonal and pyramidal; the basement
story is of porphyritic granite, the upper, of glazed bricks beautifully and exactly
fitted together. A winding staircase of one hundred and eighty-three steps conducts to
the highest stage, from whence a very extensive prospect is obtained over the meeting
of the waters, of the admirable site at their conflux, and of the crowded streets of Lin-
sin-choo. Although from this height, a hundred and fifty feet at least above the level
of the Pei-ho, the city seems almost at the tower's foot, yet the private dwellings and
even the public buildings are scarcely discoverable, from the extraordinary number of
gardens, shrubberies, and planted pleasure-grounds within the city walls. In the
year 1793, this beautiful work of art, the tapering tower, was in a state of dilapidation,
nor did any traces then exist of its ever having been dedicated to the idolatrous worship
of the nation ; but since that period it has been completely restored and beautified.
The roof of each story projects, and on the cornice of the lowest are inscribed in
legible letters, the dedicatory words, " O-me-to-fo, which are also to be found in all
the temples of Buddha, the projections themselves being richly carved and decorated.
A niche in the basement story is filled with an image of Buddhist worship of recent
admission, and another is preserved in the highest apartment. The roof, which is also
profusely ornamented, is either of cast-iron or bell-metal.
The concourse of merchants, dealers, travellers, bargemen, in addition to the civic
functionaries, and the number of retainers necessary to preserve order amongst a popula-
tion that is constantly in transitu, present peculiar attractions to strolling players, jug-
glers, and mountebanks of all descriptions ; and the streets of Lin-sin-choo are continually
animated by the performances of these ministers of mirth. It is no inconsiderable addi-
tion to the accompanying picture of Chinese customs, to place the showman and the
delighted group around him, in one of the sylvan avenues of this rus in urbe, an advan-
tage of which Mr. Allom has most happily availed himself, combining, consequently,
the singular scenery of these very primitive streets with the habits of their migratory
It has been elsewhere observed, that although the Chinese have stopped, and been
contented with a limited degree of excellence, finish, or perfection in many admirable
inventions, still mankind are indebted to them for the origin of those very discoveries
which they have themselves neglected, or wanted ability to improve. The mariner"s
compass, gunpowder, and the art of printing, most probably originated in China,
RAREE-SHOW AT LIN-SIN-CHOO. -4 7
although imitators now derive more advantage from these discoveries than the authors
themselves; and it is from this ancient empire that the very amusements of the
humbler classes, both on the European continent and in Great Britain, have obviously
been derived. The Ombres Chinoises disclose their country sufficiently by their name |
and in the automatic figures of the Chinese raree-showmen are recognized the originals
of the Fantoccini of Italy, and the Punch and Judy of more western countries.
The figures of the Italian puppet-show derive their motions from springs attached
to their legs, arms, and heads, the mode in which the dancing puppets of the Chinese
are also worked, so that the identity of these two species of exhibition is complete.
Between the English showman and his Eastern prototype, the resemblance i>, if
possible, more exact; and the words in which a Chinese author has described the ope-
ration require no change in their application to the performances at Bartholomew Fair.
" The Chinese showman produces a succession of pictures to the perspective glass, by
means of small strings, and relates a story and description of each subject as he presents
it." This account applies to the old-fashioned exhibition of the camera-obscura, which
was to be seen, at one period, at all the public crossings in the streets of London.
It has been shown that the Fantoccini and camera-obscuras are of Chinese origin,
it remains still to be proved that it is to the same ingenious people England owes
the popular exhibition of Punch, although it has received considerable alteration in its
passage to us through Italy and Central Europe. The Chinese Punch is performed by
a person mounted on a stool, and concealed, as far fis the ankle, with blue draperv. On
his head rests a box or stage, such as Punchinello is generally performed in, and the
figures are put in motion by the insertion of the manager's fingers into their arms.
This is the principle, the practice being somewhat altered, on which the celebrated
Punch and Judy show is now conducted.
Both in England and in China, music forms a necessary part of the entertainment :
nor is it a matter unattended with difficulty to decide which country, on this ground,
is entitled to pre-eminence. Mr. Allom's musician at Lin-sin-choo seems to be very-
full v occupied, and resolutely bent upon diverting the attention of the spectators from
those movements of the mechanism, or from that sleight-of-hand which might detract
from the general effect of the exhibition. To his left foot a cymbal is attached,
which he strikes against its fellow fixed securely on the ground, with his right foot he
plays upon a drum or tambour, while both hands are employed in the management
of a hwang-teih, or flute, occasionally exchanged for the heang-teih, or clarionet,
that is suspended at his side. This immense "unkeyed instrument" is simply a bamboo
cane, having a mouth-hole at some distance from the end, a second aperture, covered
with the inner rind or film of a species of reed, two inches lower down, besides ten
ventiges, six of which are effective and equidistant. The tone of the bamboo flute is
both sweet and powerful, and the harmony of the musician's little band, in general, agree-
able. In this instance, however, the performer has not exceeded in dexterity some of our
own itinerant musicians. There was an attendant upon an automaton collection, exhi-
bited at Brecon in South Wales, in the year 1842, who played an air on the pandean-
48 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
pipes, and accompanied it by the clashing of cymbals attached to his knees, by the
beating of a large drum with a stick fastened by a strap above one knee, while from the
same leg a tightened cord extended to the upright handle of a crescent and bells, firmly
fixed in the floor of the stage ; his hands were engaged with a large tambarine, and a
triangle suspended from one arm was touched by a plectrum made fast to the other.
The author of a satirical poem called "The Familiar Epistles," thus ridicules the powers
of a gentleman who led the band of one of our theatrical orchestras —
" Cooke plays eight instruments together,
Or croaking frogs foretell bad weather."
The Cambrian musician directed six instruments, to the obvious delight of his auditors,
and, under happier circumstances, it is not improbable he might have employed a larger
number, without materially deteriorating the quality of his music.
The spectators and auditors at the raree-show in Lin-sin-choo belong to the indus-
trious and humbler classes, to whom the rice-seller presents himself, and amongst whom
not only do the mother and child very naturally make their appearance, but the less
interesting character of the smoking lounger, who declines all further labour until
necessity shall compel him to accept it.
Puppet-shows, the probable original of the regular drama, are here not the peculiar
entertainment of the lower or uneducated classes, on the contrary, they are patronized
by the imperial household, and are included in the court amusements. " We were
also entertained with a Chinese puppet-show, which differs but little from an English
one. There are a distressed princess confined in a castle, and a knight-errant, who,
after fighting wild beasts and dragons, sets her at liberty and marries her, wedding-
feasts, jousts, and tournaments. Besides these, there was also a comic drama, in which
some personages not unlike Punch and Judy, Bandemeer, and Scaramouch, performed
capital parts. This puppet-show, we were told, properly belonged to the ladies' apart-
ments, but was sent out as a particular compliment to entertain us." * This fact is
neither surprising nor peculiar; for it is but just a century ago since puppet-shows were
so much in fashion in London, that the public journals complained of the celebrated
singer Nocolini, and the opera, being almost deserted for " Puncli and his Wife."
It would appear sufficiently evident, since the antiquity of imperial China and of
its institutions is indisputable, and since the memorable bigotry of that people must
always have militated against the adoption of foreign customs, — and since puppet-shows
exactly resembling the Fantoccini of Italy, and the Punchinello of England, were found
there in familiar acceptance by the first European travellers, that China is the native
country of these childish amusements. However, or whenever, they may have emigrated
might perhaps be determined without much difficulty, but it is certainly known that
England borrowed them from the southern countries of Europe. The history of Punch,
and of his extraordinary ubiquity, may lay the foundation for more serious reflections
upon the prevailing passions of mankind, in all countries and ages, for, his fame appears to
have extended from the earliest periods of authentic history to these times present, and
• Barrow's Visit to the Imperial Palace at Sehol in Tartary.
TEMPLE OF BONZES. 1 '' )
over the round world "from China to Peru." The vulgar-sounding name by which this
famous actor is known in England is a corruption of Pulcinella, an Italian mask, Bret
introduced (here by Silvio Fiorillo, which some derive from pulcinelli, "chickens," becai
the first performer of this character in Italy was a misshapen peasant of Sorento, who
used to bring chickens for sale to the market of Naples: while others deduce it from
Puccio d'Aniello, a witty peasant, who had acquired considerahle distinction by the dis-
play of his comic talent's at the vintage festivities in his native province. The French
epithet, Ponche, has. with too much levity, been said to be derived from Pontius Pilate,
because that celebrated person was a principal character in the old « Mysteries" sanc-
tioned by the Roman Catholic hierarchy : but this origin may be easily refuted, for,
Punch's "facsimile in the ancient "Moralities" was The Vice, whose peculiar office it
was to relieve the heavier parts of the performance by occasional digressions, and by
sudden sallies of wit, humour, and buffoonery.
That the reign of puppet-shows in China has been long, peaceful, and uninter-
rupted, the perfection to which they have attained appears to afford ample proof: on the
continent, in Italy more especially, they constitute one of the chief delights of the majority ;
and, although perhaps Punch is less admired by the intellectual children of the nine-
teenth century than of those that have passed, a showman's bill, preserved in the
British Museum, demonstrates the esteem in which " Motion!'— the obsolete name for
puppet-shows-were held by the public, in the Augustine age of our own Queen Anne.
TEMPLE OF BONZES IN THE OUANG-YEN ROCK.
Christian, look home ! Thy heart's recesses scan.
The chambers of thy spirit's imag'ry ,
Mark well its mazes subterranean,
Idol entliron'd, and troops that bow the knee.
Christian, look home I and ere to enrse thou dare.
Be sure no Bonze's eavern'd haunt is there.
('. J. <•■
The Pei-kiang-ho, which traverses the province of Quang-tung, rising in the Melin moun-
tains, passes through a district remarkably picturesque, but by no means fertile. The
river's channel separates the sandstone from the limestone formation, except perhaps in
one place, where an immense opening has been made by the waters right through the
former species of rock, which rises in precipitous cliffs above them to a height oi not less
than eight hundred feet. Some leagues north of this remarkable strait, and of those pillars
of a Chinese Hercules, is the city of Chao-chou-foo, enclosed with inhospitable walls of
brick and stone, and near to it, the head of the available navigation. Here the flat bot-
tomed boat, lined with mats, is always exchanged for a .junk of superior lightness and accom-
modation ; and here also the river is crossed by a bridge of boats, the central portion of
the pontoon being readily removable to permit free navigation. Gliding down the smooth-
50 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
flowing waters, attention is attracted, long before the navigator arrives at the spot, by an
impending cliff, that rises seven hundred feet above the river, assuming at its summit a
columnar form ; the distant view consisting of the outspread waters enclosed by mural pre-
cipices, through which a single passage only is opened for their egress. The overhanging
rock, named Quang-yen, is composed of greyish-black transition limestone, and remark-
able in some places for its irregular vesicular surface. Its indentions appear to be the
impressions of organic remains that have fallen from their beds, and the impending mass
consists of forms resembling stalactitic compositions. A landing-place is formed at the foot
of the rock by a broad level terrace, raised only a few feet above the highest mark of the
water, and from this a long but easy flight of steps leads to the first of a suite of chapels or
temples, dedicated to the worship of Fo, established in the excavations of the mountain,
and where a number of Bonzes constantly dwell to discharge their idolatrous duties.
The following vivid description of the visit of Lord Macartney to the temple in the
rock, cannot be discredited ; but so much has either fanaticism faded or fashion in religion
altered in fifty years, that his lordship's narrative is wholly inapplicable to the present
appearance of these shadowy halls. " An arm of the river bent and elbowed itself into
a deep cove or basin, above which enormous masses of rock rose abruptly on every side,
agglomerating to a stupendous height, and menacing collision. The included flood was
silent, sullen, still, and black. The ledge where we landed was so narrow, that we could not
stand upon it without difficulty; we were hemmed round with danger. The mountains
frowned on us from on high ; the precipices startled us from beneath. Our own safety
seemed even in the jaws of a cavern that yawned in our front. We plunged into it
without hesitating, and, for a moment, felt the joys of a sudden escape ; but our terrors
returned when we surveyed our asylum. We found ourselves at the bottom of a stair-
case hewn in the rock, long, narrow, steep, and rugged ; at a distance a feeble taper
glimmered from above, and faintly discovered to us the secrets of the vault ; we however
looked forward to it as our pole-star. We scrambled up the steps, and with much
trouble and fatigue arrived at the landing-place. Here an ancient bald-headed Bonze
issued from his den, and offered himself as our conductor through the subterranean
labyrinth. The first place he led us to was the grand hall, a refectory of the convent.
It is an excavation, forming nearly a cube of twenty-five feet, through one face of which
is a considerable opening that looks over the water, and is barricaded with a rail. This
apartment is well furnished, in the taste of the country, with tables and chairs highly
varnished, and with many gauze and paper lanterns of various colours, in the middle of
which was suspended a glass chandelier of prodigious size, made in London, the offering
of an opulent Chinese bigot at Canton. From hence we mounted by an ascent of many
difficult steps to the temple itself, which is directly over the hall, but of much greater
extent. Here the god Poo-sa is displayed in all his glory— a gigantic image with a Saracen
face, grinning horribly from a double row of gilded fangs, a crown upon his head, a naked
scimetar in one hand, and a firebrand in the other. But how little, alas ! is celestial or
sublunary fame ; I could learn very few particulars of this colossal divinity ; even the
Bonzes, who live by his worship, scarcely knew anything of his history. From the
TEMPLE OF BONZES. 5 I
attributes he is armed with, I suppose he was some great Tartar prince or commander of
antiquity; but if he bore any resemblance to his representative, he inu>t have been
a most formidable warrior, and probably not inferior in his day to f he King of Prussia
or Prince Ferdinand in our own. A magnificent, altar was dressed out at his feet, with
lamps, lanterns, candles and candlesticks, censers and perfumes, strongly resembling the
decorations of a Romish chapel ; and on the walls were hung numerous tablets, inscribed
in lar^e characters with moral sentences and exhortations to pious alms and religion.
" Opposite to the image is a wide breach in the wall, down from which the perpen-
dicular view requires the firmest nerves and the steadiest head to resist its impression.
The convulsed rocks above shooting their tottering shadows into the distant light, the
slumbering abyss below— the superstitious gloom brooding upon the whole,— all conspired
to strike the mind with accumulated horror and the most terrifying images. From the
chapel we were led through several long and narrow galleries to the rest of the apart-
ments, which have been all wrought in the rock, by invincible labour and perseverance,
into kitchens, cells, cellars, and other recesses of various kinds. The Bonzes having
now heard the quality of their visitors, had lighted an additional number of torches and
flambeaux, by which we were enabled to see all the interior of the souterrain, and to
examine into the nature of its inhabitants, and their manner of living in it. Here we
beheld a number of our fellow-creatures, endowed with faculties like our own,—
" Some breasts once pregnant with celestial fire" —
buried under a mountain, and chained to a rock, to be incessantly gnawed by the vul-
tures of superstition and fanaticism. Their condition appeared to us to be the last stage
of monastic misery, the lowest degradation of humanity. The aspiring thoughts, and
elegant desires, the Promethean heat, the nobler energies of the soul, the native dignity
of man, all suuk, rotting or extinguished in a hopeless dungeon of religious insanity.
From such scenes the offended eye turns away with pity and disdain, and looks with
impatience for a ray of relief from the light of reason and philosophy."
Since the preceding graphic description was written, the number of Bonzes is dimi-
nished, the huge idol of Saracenic aspect must have been removed, unless it be identical
with the god Poo-sa, who is still seated on an altar, a part of the rock hewn into the
shape of the nelumbium, and the feelings of terror obviated by the construction of well-
built walls, where there was formerly but a slight rail to secure from accident. The con-
duct of the resident priesthood, however, is of the same mendicant character; they watch
anxiously to ascertain the rank, feelings, or objects of their visitors and take advantage
of every little circumstance in the least likely to afford a pretext for begging. They
present mineralogical specimens, gathered from the great rocky mountain in whose bow els
they are entombed, and wait with inquiring aspect the result of the worthless gift. But
Bonzes, Shamans, or Hoshangs, are, strictly speaking, mendicants by profession, and ana-
logous to a similar order of friars in the Roman Catholic church. A begging Bonze, with
his head closely shaven and bare, a board tied on his back on which are painted, in legible
characters, the names of the sect and temple to which he belongs, hair-padded cushions
52 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
fastened on his knees, to save them from the otherwise injurious effects of endless genu-
flexions, — presents himself everlastingly at the door of the wealthy. In the most suppli-
cating posture, he almost prostrates himself before the place or person of the rich man,
and while he chants an appropriate hymn, accompanies it with continued, but very gentle
taps, upon a hollow piece of wood in shape resembling a pear. The general costume of
the Lama or Bonze, is a loose robe with a broad collar of silk or velvet; the colour of
the toga depending on the particular order or monastery to which the wearer belongs.
These priests, in Tartary and China, are the only classes of either nation who have the
head shaved entirely. They are in general supplied with a broad-leafed hat, manu-
factured from straw and split bamboo, answering the twofold purpose of a defence
against sun and rain, and always with an ornament resembling a cap, exquisitely wrought
in wood or ivory, which they affix to the back of the head. Occasionally they are
armed with a large umbrella, the handle and ribs being of bamboo, the covering of paper,
beneath which the hat is always carried in the hand. The temples, and monasteries, and
public places in China, literally swarm with Bonzes, who, ostensibly at least, practise
all the austerities and mortifications of the numerous orders of monks in Europe, and
inflict on themselves the same painful and disgusting punishments which the Facquirs
of India undergo, for the feigned love of God, but for the real admiration of men. The
odium thrown upon the moral character of the Bonzes of China by the learned Jesuits who
travelled in that empire, should be received, with caution and qualifications, for it is well
known that the similarity of monastic orders as well as of the ceremonies of Buddhism,
to those of the Roman Catholic Church, created the most distressing feelings in the minds
of the missionaries, although history everywhere plainly points to paganism as the com-
mon origin of the rites of both.
There are several Roman Catholic convents, or chapels, or cells, that much resemble
the temple of Quang-Yen, in their seclusion, rocky character, and humiliating posi-
tion of their priesthood. The most interesting in southern Europe is the Shrine of St.
Rosalia, on Monte Pelegrino, near Palermo. This grotto is a natural formation,
deep, damp, and dismal ; a rude head of the saint peeps from a niche in the rock, and
an exquisite image of the same holy personage lies beneath the gorgeous shrine which
stands on the east side of the chapel. A convent has been erected above and around the
sacred rock, and the resident priesthood derive a handsome income from pilgrims.*
Near Cape Roxent, in Portugal, is another subterranean temple, called the Cork Convent.
It is of considerable extent, includes a chapel, sacristy, refectory, and every apartment,
requisite for the accommodation of the miserable Franciscan monks who inhabit them.
The walls, roof, and floors are lined with cork ; the tables, chairs, couches, chapel fur-
niture, crucifixes, — in short cork is employed in everything necessary for the convenience
of the establishment, which could be made of that waterproof material. The Temple
of Quang-Yen, the Shrine of St. Rosalia, and the Cork Convent, are all dismal and
degrading retreats of intellectual beings, and those who incarcerate themselves in such
dungeons of bigotry deserve universal contempt; yet they are still less disgusting in
* Vide Wright's " Shores and Islands of tlie Mediterranean."
MILITARY STATION AT CHO-KIEN. 53
their internal arrangements than those of a Franciscan convent on the island of Madeira
Here is shown a large apartment, the walls of which are lined with human skulls, and the
hones of arms and legs are placed alternately in horizontal rows. A solitary lam]>,
depending from the ceiling, throws a feehle light on these miserable memorials of mor-
tality, and on the grim features of a bald-headed friar of the order, who exhibits them to
visitors with an indescribable, and most unnatural species of triumph.
MILITARY STATION AT CHO-KIEN.
" That never set a squadron in the field.
Nor the division of a battle knows,
More than a spinster —
Mere prattle without practice
Is all his soldiership."
On every navigable river, but especially on the Pei-ho, the northern feeder of the Impe-
rial Canal, military stations are established ; the magnitude or strength of each being
proportioned to the populousness or traffic of the district. As rivers are the chief high-
ways of China, these posts are analogous to our police-stations ; and the troops lodged in
them are not the regular military, but rather the local militia. Besides the maintenance
of tranquillity, and enforcing the orders of government, the river-guard have other
duties to perform, such as the exaction of tolls, preservation of unimpeded water-way,
and care of the sluices. The accompanying view represents a station-house of the first
class, where a guard of at least one hundred men is always maintained : whenever an
imperial cortege, or the train of a mandarin of distinction, passes, it is their duty to give
a military salute. This ceremony consists in the discharge of three short, petards, kept
for this purpose alone : they are fixed perpendicularly in the ground, a little powder
is first put into the barrel, over which sand and earth are tightly rammed. A\ hen the
ceremony is completed, the gorgeous dresses of the soldiers, including embroidered
petticoats and satin boots, together with their arms and accoutrements, are restored to
the armoury in the station-house, and there preserved until another public occasion shall
demand another distribution. As for the soldiers themselves, if they be only the Chinese
military police, the greater part resume their agricultural or manufacturing employments,
retaining also their pay, which is equivalent to three-pence a day of our money. This
little stipend, and some additional value which attaches to office in every country, prove
so attractive, that the duty of a soldier is taken, rather than put upon the people — solici-
tation is used to obtain, instead of conscription to enforce the service.
The military pavilion at Cho-kien is always a picturesque object, and frequently
presents a scene of much bustle and animation. The vicinity of a large and navigabli
54 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
river, covered with a multitude of boats, and of various kinds, including junks, flower-
boats, sanpans, pleasure-barges, chop-boats, and others, must necessarily present an end
less variety of scene and incident. Here are continued arrivals and departures, frequent
disputes between the junkmen and trackers, and occasional punishments of criminals from
the surrounding country ; for, although the imperial power is so overwhelming, that neigh-
bouring states can offer to it no serious resistance, amongst the Chinese themselves, and
in the very heart of the empire, convulsions, insurrections, conspiracies, and tumults, are
of hourly occurrence, and give ample employment to the standing police and the regular
Tartar soldiers. In front of the pavilion are hoisted the national flags, yellow, white,
red, and blue, or one of these colours bordered with the other if the garrison consist
entirely of Tartar troops ; but, green banners with red borders, or the reverse, in the
centre of which is displayed the national gilt dragon, if of Chinese.
As there is a difference between the pay of the Tartar and Chinese soldiers, that is,
between the regular and militia corps, so is there a distinction also in their dress and
accoutrements. The Tartars, or Tigers of War, as the missionaries have styled them,
are dressed in yellow— the imperial colour — striped in imitation of a tiger's hide, and
having ears also to their caps. This cap or head-gear, is made of split bamboo, so
compactly interwoven as to be capable of resisting a violent blow ; the shield is of the
same material and workmanship, and the head or entire image of some monster is
generally painted on it, to terrify, if not, like that of Medusa, to petrify the foe. Every
fifth soldier, when the line is formed, has a silk flag at his back, resting in a socket, and
as these flutter in the breeze they present a very gay appearance. It may be asked,
why repeat these flags so often, or why not furnish every man with one, as we do in our
lancer regiments ? The Chinese have a peculiar fondness for the number five, derived
from the structure of the hand; hence their soldiers are in companies of five, ten of
which, a multiple of five, form a company of fifty, another multiple; eight of these
companies compose a battalion, and each company has five principal, and five subaltern
officers. On each soldier's breast, that is, each man of the regular army, the word valour,
(yoong) is always inscribed; "which," says a British officer who served in the late war
with China, " might be all very well, if the same word were not also displayed on the same
individual's back, when he fled, and who, agreeably to the advice of Hudibras, reserved
his courage for some future occasion." The military police, who are always Chinese,
wear around their necks and over their breasts, a badge inscribed with the words
" robustious citizens." The uniform of the latter is much less costly and regular than
that of the Tiger of War, consisting principally of a blue jacket trimmed with red, or
the reverse, over a long clumsy petticoat. The head is protected by a conical cap of
bamboo, but sometimes of cloth and silk ; while the Tiger is defended by a quilted toga of
cloth, studded with metal buttons, and an iron helmet terminating in the shape of an
inverted funnel, from the top of which a bunch of horse-hair depends. Their arms are as
contemptible, as their uniform is unwieldy and inconvenient; they consist of match-locks,
supported on cross sticks, which are generally in bad order, and badly supplied with flints,
now substituted for matches, this valuable description of stone not being found in any part
M11.ITAIIY STATION AT CHO-KII.N.
of China; tnere are no chalk-cliffs in the empire, so there is no matrix for the support and
supply of gun-flints, and as to detonating caps, they are yet unknown to the military men
in Cathay. It is said that their swords or scimeters are equal to the best from Spain,
although their appearance is extremely rude and unfinished. In the late war, however,
Commissioner Lin attempted an improvement in this department, by the introduction of
double-sworded men, from which he calculated upon the annihilation of the English
intruders. "These twin swords, when in the scabbard, appear as one thick clumsy
weapon, about two feet in length; the guard for the hand continuing straight, rather
beyond the 'fort' of the sword-turn towards the point, forming a hook about two inches
long. When in use, the thumb of each hand is passed under this hook, on which the
swo°rd hangs, until a twist of the wrist brings the gripe within the grasp of the swordsman.
Clashing and beating them together, and cutting the air in every direction, accompanying
the action with abuse, noisy shouts, and hideous grimaces, these dread heroes advance,
increasing their gesticulations, and distortions of visage, as they approach the enemy,
when they expect the foe to become alarmed and fly before them." " It does not appear,
however, that this ridiculous introduction was entirely the invention of Lin, we only
know that we first became acquainted with its inefficacy and existence in our opposition
to the force under his control.
It is not on the sword and shield, or the ill-conditioned matchlock, that the
Tartar soldier places his best reliance, but on that weapon to which he has been accus-
tomed from childhood, and which is associated with his name and history from time
immemorial. The Tartar's bow is made of an elastic wood, cased in horn, and having a
string of silken thread strongly twisted, and his arrows are straight, well finished,
and armed at the points with a shank and spear of steel. It is usual to estimate the
strength of the bow by the weight required to bend it, and the test applied in China is
from eighty to ninety pounds. The string is placed behind an agate ring upon
the right thumb, the first joint of which is bent forward, and kept in that position De-
pressing the middle joint of the fore-finger upon it. In this situation the string is drawn
till the left arm is extended, and the right hand passes the right ear ; the fore-finger is
then withdrawn from the thumb, which instantly forces the string from the agate ring,
and discharges the arrow with considerable force.
The dress or uniform of a Chinese army is inconvenient, and the weapons they employ
entirely behind the age we live in : sufficient to repress sedition, secure internal peace,
and aid in the execution of the wishes of government, these forces and weapons must still
prove wholly unequal to the military discipline and means of destruction employed by the
civilized nations of Europe; and the strength of Hercules, and the courage of Achilles, in
such a contest, would have only ended in the ruin of their possessors. The Chinese, in
fact, are wholly ignorant of the art of war, having, during many centuries, cultivated unin-
terruptedly the arts of peace, and these are the reciprocals of each other; while industry and
happiness increased, despotism and military science retrograded. Chinese soldiers seem
* Narrative of the Expedition to China, by Commander J. E. Bingham, R.N.
,56 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
much better adapted to grace a dramatic pageant than to defend an invaded empire ; and
if any one shall be disposed to question the impartiality of this statement, let him only
imagine the extravagance, if not the degradation, attendant on the ceremony of saluting an
officer of rank — " when the whole regiment in line, clap their hands to their sides, fall on
their knees, and utter a dismal howl; while a full band of music strikes out the air of
The strength of the imperial army, including the standing police or local militia, is
estimated at 740,000 effective men, of whom 400,000 are cavalry, besides 30,000 sea-
men, who find employment in the navy. It is more correct, however, to state, that the
Tartar corps, eight in number, and distinguished by the green standard, consist of 80,000
men, and constitute the only real regular army for defence or offence ; but that upwards
of 700,000 troops receive pay from the emperor as an enrolled and affianced soldiery. The
commander-in-chief of this vast army is always a Tartar, but a Chinaman may hold the
next rank to him. From the Tseang-kun to the lowest of his men, the discipline of the
bastinado, and even of the cangue, or moveable pillory, is applicable ; and, if the military
code which is preserved in the imperial archives were strictly enforced, there is no reason
to imagine that a brave, hardy, and persevering people, like the Chinese, would prove
unequal in military prowess to any nation upon earth.
FEEDING SILK-WORMS, AND SORTING THE COCOONS.
Lo ! where the caterpillar-crop
A golden fruitage bears ;
More useful than the painted fop
Its silken spoil that wears.
Yet still for him they toil, for him they die-
Worm, swathed nymph, and parent butterfly.
C. J. C.
It has been generally supposed that the people known in ancient history as the Seres,
were identical with the Chinese, both because of their eastern position, and that the
principal silk manufactures were believed to have been brought from thence, on which
account the Romans named the country Sericum, or Serica, or Sereinda. This fact,
however, is notfct all certain; on the contrary, there are strong, and almost conclusive
reasons for allowing, that the trifling quantity of silk imported into Rome, came, not from
China, or Sereinda, but from Persia. It is by no means probable that it was the Chinese
who were said to have sent an embassy to Augustus, to solicit the friendship of the
Romans, as this would be the only instance in the history of that people, of their having
condescended to court foreign alliance, independent of its being opposed to their funda-
mental laws, which not only prohibit intercourse with strangers, but even jealously prevent
the emigration of their people. Florus, who wrote nearly a century later than the death
of Augustus, is the only author who mentions this embassy, and, as no historian contem-
FEKDINi; SII.K-WOK.MS, AM) SOItTINC 111 I. ( 1)1 c l( ) N -. .),
porary with the emperor, has alluded to so remarkable a circumstance, the natural
presumption is, that no such embassy was ever sent to Home. It might bo added, in
further confirmation of the opinion, that the Chinese never traded, negotiated, nor were
even known to the Ilomans,— that, the most learned ancient geographers conceive Serica
to be identical with Tartary, not with China Proper; and, in their charts it adjoins
Scythia. The inhabitants of these districts were practised in archery, a Tartar
accomplishment, but they did not produce or manufacture silk so much as cotton.
If the Romans, therefore, procured their silk from Persia, and that, history is silent
on its further origin, no proof remains that China is its native country. A colony of Jews
are known to have travelled into China at an early period, and, according to the records
preserved by their descendants, and the authority of Chinese historians, settled there
soon after Alexander the Great had opened a communication with the East Is it not
probable, that these industrious people carried with them this useful piece of knowledge
from Persia, or from some of the adjoining countries, where the silk-worm was then
certainly known to have been reared? The Emperor Kaung-shee, in his treatise on Natural
History, states, that the Chinese are much mistaken in imagining that silk was an exclu-
sive product of China, for that the upper region of India had a native worm of a larger
growth, and which spun a stronger silk than any in China. There is reason to believe
that silk was produced in the early ages of history, both in Tangut and Kitai; several
expressions in the bible warrant a presumption that this beautiful manufacture was known
at the court of Solomon ; besides, the vesica perlucidce ac fluida; Medis of Justin have
always been supposed to mean silken robes. The Jews in China, like the Huguenots in
England, carried along with them the practical knowledge of an useful art, and both have
become so completely amalgamated with their adopted countries, that distinction is now
almost obliterated. Still may the Israelites be traced at Hang-tchoo-foo, where they have
long been settled, and where they have acquired the reputation of fabricating the best stuffs
in China. Some curious circumstances respecting this tradition may be noticed here.
Few of these immigrants, except the rabbins, have any knowledge of Hebrew, and tole-
ration appears to have drawn away many of the Jews from the faith of their ances-
tors, — an effect directly contrary to that which may be observed to follow religious perse-
cution. The high-priests are rigorously attached to the Old Law, but are ignorant of
any other Jesus having appeared on earth, except the son of Sirach. If this statement
be correct, these Jews could not have been part of the ten tribes carried away into cap-
tivity, but followers of Alexander's army, which corresponds with their own account of
In the sixth century, two Persian monks, migrating from their country, secretly con-
veyed away a number of silk-worms' eggs in a hollow cane, along with the while mulberry,
to Constantinople, where they were encouraged by the Emperor Justinian to breed the
insect, and cultivate its cocoons. This was the first introduction of the silk-worm
into Europe, but the country of its authors is not necessarily that of the insect itself,
which may still therefore have come from Serica, or Persia, or Kitai, or Tangut, or
perhaps China Proper. Popular histories of China, however, ascribe the origin of
58 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
silk manufacture to the Empress Si-ling-shi, wife of Hoang-ti, about 2,700 years before
the Christian era; and the same fabulous chronicles say, that the raw material had been
exported from China many centuries before the insect that produced it, and had given
extensive employment to manufacturers in Persia and Phoenicia.
The invention of the celebrated Coan stuffs, is attributed by the Greeks to Pamphyla,
who is said to have taught her countrywomen of Cos to unweave the heavy silks of the
East, and recompose the material into a transparent gauze, thus gaining in measure what
was lost in substance. Before the reign of Augustus, even manufactured silk was little
known in Europe; it was then sold for its weight in gold, and was worn only by a few
ladies of patrician rank. In the beginning of Tiberius's reign, a law was passed, that
no man should disgrace himself by the effeminate practice of wearing silken garments ;
and it is mentioned as a wanton extravagance of the prodigal Heliogabalus, that he had
a garment made wholly of silk. For six centuries the culture of the silk-worm in
Europe was confined to the Greek empire, and several manufactories were established at
Athens, Corinth, Thebes, and the iEgean Islands, for rearing the worm upon mulberry
leaves, for unwinding the cocoons, for twisting the filaments into threads of various
degrees of strength, and weaving them lastly into robes. From Greece the culture of
the silk-worm passed to the Venetian republic, which then enjoyed the most extensive
commercial intercourse with the western countries of Europe, and these enterprising
people accumulated vast treasures by their flourishing trade in silk.
It was about the year 1130, that Roger II., King of Sicily, and son of the famous
Count Roger the Norman, having violently carried away silk-weavers from the Holy
Land, established manufactures in his capital city of Palermo, and in some of the chief
places of Calabria. From this source sprang the whole culture, and manufacture, and
trade of silk, from which Italy subsequently reaped so rich a harvest. By whom the
culture of silk was introduced into Spain, does not appear very certainly, but the proba-
bility is that the Moors were the original promoters of this branch of industry at Cordova,
Murcia, and Granada; for, when the last of these places was captured in the fifteenth
century by Ferdinand, he found the silk trade there in a highly productive and pros-
In the year 1480, several French nobles returning from the conquest of Naples,
brought some silk-worms with them into Dauphiny, along with the white mulberry ;
but their efforts appear to have been made more from a desire to promote the study of
natural history than for any immediate benefit to manufactures or commerce. Whatever
their personal objects were, from these small beginnings a knowledge of the rearing and
culture of the worm, and of its peculiar food, soon extended itself throughout France; so
that in 1521, artisans were invited from Milan to aid in the establishment of the manu-
facture on a wider basis. From the nursery-grounds of Monsieur Traucat of Nismes, the
first formed in France for the culture of the white mulberry, all those trees that now adorn
and enrich the southern provinces have been obtained. It is said that the first mulberry-
tree planted in France is still living, surrounded by its numerous offspring, many of
nearly equal age with itself. Fully appreciating the value of infant manufactures, Henri
FEEDING SILK-WORMS, AND SORTING THE COCOONS. 59
Quatre extended every species of protection and encouragement to the plantation of
the mulberry, which his wisdom and power enabled him ; and, although cut off by an
untimely fate, he yet lived long enough to witness the entire success of this his favourite
The climate of England is at variance in this instance with the industry of the inhabit-
ants, which appears capable of surmounting difficulties that have checked the enterprise
of all other countries ; and for this reason only is it that the silk-worm has not been
naturalized here also. In 1455, a company of silk-women was formed, whose employ-
ment and speculation were confined to needle-work, embroidery and other branches
in which silk thread was employed, but they had no connection with the culture of the
silk-worm or raising of the mulberry. It was reserved for our learned but imbecile
monarch, James I., to recommend this vain and hopeless measure to his people, in
a studied speech from the royal throne. England had long been dependent upon foreign
countries for the supply of the broad manufacture; and might have continued much longer
in that position of profit to foreigners, had not the persecution of the French Protest-
ants in 1685, obliged a large number of well-conducted and industrious artisans, to seek
refuge in England, bringing with them an accurate knowledge of the art of silk-weaving.
To this event is to be traced the ultimate establishment of the silk-trade in Spitalfields.
The manufacture of silks had progressed under King James; so that in 1629 the silk-
throwsters were incorporated by a royal charter, but the accession of the French emi-
grants completed the strength and secured the existence of this important branch of our
And now so remunerating were the prices which this description of manufacture pro-
duced, that no impediment seemed too great for those who were ambitious of pursuing it.
One instance is deserving of lasting record in the commercial and manufacturing history
of England. In the year 1720, Sir Thomas Lombe having witnessed the wonderful
performance of a silk-mill in Italy, at the risk of his personal safety succeeded in pro-
curing a model and conveying it secretly to England. It consisted of 26,580 wheels, was
moved by a single water-wheel, and, in twenty-four hours worked three millions of yards
of organized silk. The factory was erected on an islet in the Derwent river, in Derby-
shire ; and Sir Thomas secured his importation by a patent, at the expiration of which
parliament voted him £14,000, in consideration of the service he had rendered to the
manufactures of his country, and the imminent peril he had encountered in effecting it.
Scientific discoveries, and progress in the arts, have so completely superseded the most
complicated and wonderful pieces of mechanism produced in the earlier ages, that
labour is abridged, the quantity of our manufactures increased, the quality ameliorated,
and foreign competition overpowered, by the products of our improved and improving
GO CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
: Here in this grotto of the wave-worn shore,
They pass'd the tropic's red meridian o'er;
Nor long the hours — they never paus'd o'er time.
Unbroken by the clock's funereal chime,
Which deals the daily pittance of our span,
And points and mocks with iron laugh at man."
The mountains that encircle and hang over Tae-hoo, or the Great Lake, to the south-
east of the city of Nan-king, partake of the same picturesque, or rather grotesque
character, which pervades the sublime scenery of the Seven-star-hills. Limestone is the
predominant rock, and wherever this formation comes into immediate contact either with
the waves of the sea, or the rapid current of the river, it yields readily to their action, allow-
ing itself to be fashioned afresh, or worn still farther, by every new impression. Along
the Yang-tze-keang and the Pei-ho, wherever the limestone forms the river's boundary,
caverns, picturesque promontories, detached rocks, and fertile islets, are of constant
occurrence; and, in the mountain districts, where the violence of the falling torrent
would overcome more obstinate material, the forms which the limestone receives are of
endless variety. One of the most abrupt and precipitous hills in the Great Lake dis-
trict, and situated about thirty miles north of the city of Soo-chou-foo, is the Tung-ting-
shan, called also Lin-uh-shan, and Paou-shan. Its circuit extends upwards of a hundred
and fifty miles, and embraces within it the most beautiful and romantic scenery in China
Proper. In the quaint phraseology of Chinese tourists we are told, that "on the north-
west are forty-four hills, amongst which the most conspicuous in appearance, the most
celebrated in history, is the Ma-tsih ; forty-one hills lie towards the east, above which the
western Tung-ting raises his dark front to the clouds ; and, of the forty-seven hills that are
seen to the east precisely, the eastern Tung-ting is the loftiest and most massive." Upon
the charms of this latter district they have exhausted all the laudatory formulae of their
language ; and, their admiration of the landscapes that are presented in the valleys of
this group of hills, is almost boundless. The shade of its groves, the verdure of its
valleys, the sequestered sites of its cottages, the prominent splendour of its palaces,
the glittering radiance of its temples' roofs, are said to distribute light like the stars of
heaven, while the grand edifices themselves are arranged with all the regularity of
chessmen. This mixture of the sublime and ridiculous, two sentiments more nearly
allied than is generally imagined, pervades every object in the Chinese empire — their
religion, laws, public and private customs — and must, therefore, be naturally expected
in their descriptive writings : besides, in the Chinese landscape, the association has a
real and a constant existence.
THE TUNG-1 [NG-SHAN. '.I
While the natives delight in the heauties of Eastern Tung-ting, European taste will
find more enjoyment in the repose of the picture to be seen amid the hollows of Tim
ting-shan. Undisturbed, and undisfigured by palaces of haughty mandarins, or shrine
of idolatry placed at measured distances, the picturesque crests, and summits, and
brows, and steeps, of this lone region, retain the vesture in which nature clothed them.
Luxuriant woods wave on the loftiest cliffs, and the verdure in which each valley is clad
presents a contrast the most striking, to the sterility of the crags that often overhang
them. On the bank of some bright rivulet, and adjacent either to its entrance or its
exit from a sheltered vale, a village is occasionally seen, in a position the most romantic
that imagination can conjure up; and, so entire does the seclusion seem, that its peaceful
inhabitants appear to form a separate and independent community. Particular eminences
in the surrounding group are connected with the legendary lore of the mountaineers,
and the Shang-fang, and the Hea-fang rocks, are beheld with an obvious degree of
respect; while others, such as the Kung-lung-tow, Kin-yih-too, Choo-chow-shan, and
Peaou-meaou peaks, are almost equally venerated. Each forms not merely a guide
to the mountain-wanderer, an index in gauging the weather, a favourite haunt upon
a festive day, but each also is involved in some tale of love, or horror, or superstition,
that lends to it just such a beautiful interest, as the cloud that occasionally enwraps its
Of the ancient dwellers amid these hills, few traces can now be discovered by the
searching eye of curiosity ; the sacrificing mound, Meaou-kung, and the rude wall that
crosses the Ein-iih ravine, will probably continue for ages undescribed by antiquaries,
even tradition being silent as to the object or the authors of the latter. The mound
was, no doubt, the scene of those inhuman massacres, that disgraced the character of
Paganism much more than the stupid theories to which its votaries gave assent.
Although, however, the antiquary and historian shall find no recompense for their enthu-
siastic labours in this wild region, the traveller, the man of taste, the admirer of nature
will be delighted with its charms. The landscape here unites the most opposing cha-
racters ; the most peaceful, dreamy scenery is rapidly succeeded by passages of subli-
mity ; and the noise of the foaming cataract, and the brightness and the sparkling of its
sunlit spray, are exchanged in an instant for the placid surface of the lake — the stillness
that sleeps on it, and the darkness that reigns over it.
One of the most remarkable objects, or rather natural curiosities, of the Ting-tung-
shan, is the Slnh-kung-shan, or " Gentleman of the Rock," a projection from the
mountain-side into the Great Lake. Its resemblance to an old man standing in the water
explains the origin of its appellation: and the mountaineers say, that it possesses the
remarkable property, of never being completely revealed even when the waters are
lowest, nor entirely immersed when they are highest. It is tolerably certain that the
waters never will reach the summit of this singular rocky formation, an elevation of two
hundred feet above the average height of the lake ; and equally probable that their sur-
face will never fall to the foot of the rock, a depth of about fifty feet. Pleasure-junks and
trading-boats of large dimensions sail through the great opening of this natural arcade.
62 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
On a little peninsula that projects into the rocky basin of a splendid cataract, and not
many yards from the Shlh-kung-shan, is one of those picturesque structures designated
Tsoo-tdng, or Halls of Ancestors. " Here, instead of idols, the niches are filled with
tablets to the honour of those worthies of the district, who in their lifetime were dis-
tinguished by talent or virtue. Posthumous admission into one of these temples is a
sort of minor apotheosis, and reflects great honour on the descendants, who become, of
course, anxious to obtain such a distinction for their predecessors." Mr. Allom has
represented the barge of a mandarin, in waiting to receive the great man and his retinue,
just returning from the Hall of Ancestors, where they are supposed to have been
invoking and making offerings to the departed spirit of their illustrious progenitors.
This introduction cannot fail to prove so far instructive, by conveying, in the most
effective manner, a faithful representation of a practice at once ancient, grave, and
Chinese historians inform us, that it was in the fastnesses of the Tung-ting-shan, and
in the ravine of Lin-iih, already mentioned, that Lin-wei was shut up by his son-in-law,
Heu-leu, the prince of Woo ; and where, after a detention of seventeen days by his unna-
tural relative, he consented to surrender to him the book of Yeu, the great emperor of
China, who dispersed the Chinese deluge. When this celebrated monarch was seated on
the throne, he found leisure to compose a learned work, entitled " The true Doctrine of
Mountains and Seas, in which are laid down their situations ; also, all mines of gold,
silver, and iron ; besides all the varieties of fish produced in the many rivers." Above
the ravine rises the Seaou-hea, to the shaded glens of which the King of Woo retired to
avoid the intense heat of summer in his dominions ; and also the Ming-jui, or Bright
Moon Walk, where he delighted to indulge himself by moonlight. The natural pro-
ductions of this admired glen are numerous and beautiful, but none of them is more
remarkable than a species of orange-tree, Kurth, which bears a bright scarlet flower,
and blows in the depth of the hoar-frost of autumn. When the luxuriant pines that
wave on the hills, the verdant bamboos that adorn the lower heights, the keen, a delicate
aquatic plant that decorates the waters, and the sumptuous orange trees, are all in leaf
and flower, the colouring of the landscape is unrivalled. The climate also is genial,
and it is said, that all the flowers that enamel this vale uniformly regard the sun in
their mode of expansion.
THE OU-MA-TOO. d'-i
THE OU-MA-TOO, OR FIVE HORSES' HEADS.
Five giant steeds to buttle driven,
Men numbered, side by side ;
Five mountain-tops, asunder riven,
There stand they, petrified.
Was't fear of foeman wrought— or sorcerer's spell?
Or is it but a poet's miracle ?
The course of the Pe-kiang river, from its fountain in the hills of Kiang-si, to its foot
at Bocca Tigris, is about 350 miles in extent ; and its banks present an endless variety
of subjects for philosophic investigation, as well as scenery for the eye of taste. In its
early efforts it pierces a passage between stupendous cliffs of sandrock on one side, and
limestone on the other, which, at a little distance, seem to touch each other, forming a
lofty arched cavern, through which the navigation has to pass. Nor in these dismal,
deep, and dark defiles, is gloominess the only uncomfortable apprehension experienced.
Restless from its natural formation, the limestone falls, year after year, from its lofty
bed in the precipitous cliff, and in such vast debris, as to obstruct the channel, and
endanger the navigation. Should a boat strike and sink in particular places, escape
from these awful chasms would be impossible, even for the most expert swimmers, the
cliffs on either side being perpendicular, and the length of the passes often many miles.
At a place called les cinq laids diables, wrecks of luckless barges are visible above the
surface and the surge, and give painful evidence of the reality of the perils that are to
be encountered here. Emerging from these shadowy recesses, hills of fair and fertile
fronts present themselves, whose pine-clad summits attract and direct the navigator's
attention; dense coppice-wood, interspersed with the camellia, covers the lower and
nearer summits; and, in the little glens that open on the river, are innumerable huts,
each surrounded by a plantation of tobacco. Such is the character of the scenery that
prevails along either bank of the infant stream of Pe-kiang, and such the peculiar fea-
tures that distinguish it from those of the chief northern lines of river-navigation.
Resuming its stern character, the Pe-kiang exhibits bold and sterile scenery in the
vicinity of Chaou-choo-foo, a city of the second rank, to which six cities of the third
order are subjected. Situated at the confluence of two navigable rivers, the Tung-ho
(Eastern river) and See-ho (Western river), which here assume the name of Pe-kiang,
and in a mineral district, the trade of the place is active and prosperous ; and a degree
of animation reigns here, that imparts the highest pleasure and interest to the prospect.
Communication between different parts of the city is maintained by means of ferry-boats
that ply for hire, and are managed by females solely. These hardy creatures, less
interesting in appearance than the female character is elsewhere seen, are held in less
G4 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
respect than all others of their sex by the Chinese ; for respectable females do not
publicly appear in China, nor partake of that liberty to which Christian women are
unsuspectingly admitted. A second town on the opposite bank of the river is con-
nected with Chaou-choo-foo, by a bridge of boats, the central one of which is moveable,
to permit navigation, and to prevent the passage of strangers.
On the opposite side of the Five Horses' Heads, from that represented in the
accompanying view, the fronts of the hills are steep, rocky, and impending ; the loftiest
of them is ascended by steps cut in the rock, from the foot to the highest pinnacle, on
which the fragments of an ancient edifice are discoverable. These are quite too insigni-
ficant to command respect either from their extent, architectural character, or authentic
history, but are still sufficient to maintain a legend. Some thousand years ago, a bonze,
Lu-zu by name, took up his abode on this stylitic height; and, building a temple here,
submitted himself to such austerities within it, as none of his order had ever been known
to do before that period. It is of this venerable man tradition says, that he wore an iron
chain around him, which so wounded and corrupted his flesh, that it became the origin
and the food of worms. Whenever they fell off, and gave the least relief from pain, he
immediately replaced them, saying, "that there was still something left to prey on."
Pilgrims continue to visit the scene of this extraordinary instance of hypocrisy, or folly,
or both ; although stories of their having been robbed and ill treated by the attendant
bonzes were long current, and much better authenticated than the history of Lu-zu,
whose disgusting austerities are held in such admiration by the credulous.
From the highest summit of the Ou-ma-too, an extensive, varied, and agreeable
prospect is beheld. Much fertile lowland is seen adjoining the banks of the rivers,
which appear like attenuated silvery lines, winding down the long-extended mountain-
glens for many a mile, and falling into the Pe-kiang at Chaou-choo-foo. One mountain,
San-van-hap, or the Flying Hill, more conspicuous than the rest, is believed to be the
highest in China, and is said to derive its singular name from the ruined temple on its
summit, which was transported by the wand of some wizard, and in a single night, from
a province in the north to its present aerial position.
Less picturesque than the southern range, the aspect presented in the illustration
possesses characters that confer upon it an increased interest. Sterile, uninhabited, and
rugged, the surface displays a remarkable variety of colour; the disintegrated sand-
stone, of which the mountains are composed, strongly contrasting with the jet-black hue
of the coal that here rises to the view, and is scattered over the soil in the immediate
vicinity of the hills. This invaluable mineral abounds in China ; in the province of
Pe-tche-le is found a species of graphite : that exposed for sale in the towns along the
banks of the Yang-tse-kiang resembles cannel-coal ; and, in the vicinity of the Po-yang
lake, a description having the character of bovey coal prevails. At the base of the
Five Horses' Heads a sulphurous kind is raised, and an extensive trade is conducted
here by means of it. The collieries are worked by adits driven into the sides of the
mountains, not by perpendicular shafts, and the coal is conveyed in wagons to the
entrance, and thrown from a stage or jetty directly into the hold of the junk. Perhaps
THE ol -MA-TOOj OB FIVE HORSES HI IDS. (i.">
no country in the world possesses coal in greater quantity and variety than the empire of
China, and from the practised industry and extraordinary imitatory powers of the people,
it is more than probable, that before many years shall roll over their history, their noble
rivers will be navigated, like those of the North American States, by numerous and
In the coal district of Ou-ma-too, a manufacture of sulphate of,iron, or green
vitriol, is established. A quantity of hepatic iron pyrites, mixed with an equal amount
of coal, both being broken into small similar-sized fragments, is accumulated into
a pyramidal form, and coated carefully over with lime-plaster. By this process much
heat is generated and extricated, and the heap remains untouched until the smoke has
totally subsided. The mixture is then removed, thrown into water, and submitted to
heat, when crystals of sulphate of iron are obtained by evaporation.
Irrigation is one of the most favourite practices in Chinese agriculture : and the
variety of ingenious modes for raising and distributing water, reflects much credit on
the industrial character of the people. On the left bank of the Pe-kiang river, and
amidst the sandy grounds that are elevated above the water-level, the sugar-cane is much
cultivated, and a large water-wheel, erected close to the shore, is employed for the purpose
of extensive and continual irrigation. In the construction of this primitive contrivance,
ingenuity and frugality are most admirably combined. Two upright posts are securelv
fixed in the bed of the river, and in a plane perpendicular to the trend of the bank.
These uprights support the axis, about ten feet in length, of a wheel consisting of two
unequal rims, the diameter of that near the shore being eighteen inches less than that
farther off: but both dip into the water, while the opposite segment of the wheel rises
above the level of the bank. This double wheel is connected with the axis by eighteen
spokes, obliquely inserted near each extremity of the axis, and crossing each other at
two-thirds of their length. They acquire additional security by a concentric circle and
bands that connect them with the rims; the spokes inserted in the interior extremity of
the axis reaching the outer rim, and those proceeding from the exterior terminus reaching
the inner and smaller rim. Between the rims and the crossings of the spokes, is woven
a kind of close basket-work, serving as ladle-boards or floats, which meeting successiveh
the current of the stream, by their impulse turn the wheel. To both rims are attached
small tubes or spouts of wood, with an inclination of about twenty-five degrees to tin-
horizon, or to the axis of the wheel. These tubes are closed at the outer extremity, but
open at the other. By this position, the tubes which happen during a revolution to be
in the stream with the open ends uppermost, fill with water. As that segment of the
wheel rises, the mouths of these tubes are then relatively depressed, and pour their
contents into a wide trough, whence they are conducted amongst the canes as may be
The only material employed in the construction of this piece of mechanism, with
the exception of the nave and principal uprights, is afforded by the bamboo. The rim.-,
spokes, floats, tubes, and even the cords, are made of entire lengths or single joints,
or large pieces, or thin slices, of that wood. Neither nails, pins, screws, nor any kind
66 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
of metal, enters into its construction. The cordage by which the parts are bound toge-
ther is of slit bamboo cane. At a trifling cost of erection, and without further labour or
any attendance, this useful machine will raise water from a considerable depth, and sup-
ply a reservoir with a quantity adequate to the wants of a spacious cultivated area.
FACADE OF THE GREAT TEMPLE, MACAO.
Look how, grotesquely gay, yon fane portrays
The antic mummeries of its idol-shrine ;
With antler'd front the shrinking heaven it frays,
And flouts with Cyclop stare its light benign :
Sculpture and hieroglyph full aptly show
How meaningless the pompous rites of Fo.
C. J. C.
So slight is Portuguese tenure or title at Macao, that the Chinese maintain here, in
neighbourship with this despised race of foreigners, one of the most remarkable, most
venerated, and really graceful buildings in the empire, dedicated to the worship of Fo.
The architecture is more intelligible as a design, more perfect in execution, and less gro-
tesque, than the majority of Buddhist temples; the situation on the water-side, amidst
forest-trees and natural rock, is inconceivably beautiful ; and the mode in which the
architects have availed themselves of all these accessories to grace and harmony is
The Neang-mako, or Old Temple of the Lady, is situated about half a mile from the
city of Macao, in a north-west direction ; and the walk thither, although obstructed by
the usual inconveniences of Chinese roads, is rendered peculiarly agreeable by the
prospects it commands, along its whole length, of the inner port, and of the green hills of
Lapa. From its sunk, sequestered, and shaded site, the temple is not perceived until the
visitor comes suddenly upon the steep rocky steps that descend to the spacious esplanade
before it. Two tall red flag-staffs, however, in front of the temple, constitute an unerring
index to those acquainted with the locality ; being conspicuous at all hours, by the
three golden balls that surmount them, by the square frame-work that is attached to
them, and by the imperial standard that adorns them. At the foot of the broad stairs are
three great monumental stones, closely inscribed with names, titles, laudatory records,
and other vain but pardonable mementos. Beyond these commemorative pillars, is the
wide, open, agreeable esplanade, represented in the illustration ; on one side of which
is part of the facade of the building, on the other the estuary or inlet, into which the
Peninsula of Macao projects. The scene in front, composed of religious votaries,
venders of various commodities, jugglers, ballad singers, sailors, soldiers, mandarins, and
mendicants, is common to all the sea-ports of China, and has been noticed in other pages
of these volumes ; but the merits of the building itself are of so peculiar and so conspicu-
ous a character, that they call for a more detailed description. It is not to grandeur or
I \ ( ; \ 1 > I : m THE GREAT TFMPLE, MACAO. <>7
loftiness, that the Neang-mako owes its charms, but to multitudinous details, made out
with a minuteness and accuracy that cannot be exceeded. There is not another
example, most probably, in all this wide-extended empire, in which the many grotesque
features of Chinese scenery are concentrated within so small a compass ; buildings,
rocks, trees growing from the very stone, would appear to justify the artificial combina-
tions that are made in their gardening, and seen in their drawings. An enclosure,
resembling the holy ground that surrounds the ancient sanctuaries of Europe, is formed
by means of walls connecting the rude rocks that occur in the circuit, and which arc
always religiously retained by Chinese architects and decorators. A balustrade, resting
on this dwarf wall, is divided into compartments, enriched by tracery, and decorated with
various representations of instruments of music, implements of art, and weapons of war.
A continuous design fills one of the subdivisions; it is a tale readily told. A child,
seated on a quadruped of a non-descript species, is attended by venerable men, and
followed by two females carrying umbrellas; while Satan, adorned with monstrous horns,
is fleeing from the party in the utmost dismay. Another division is filled with a group
representing the dedication of the temple, and the votive act in which it had its
The design of the whole facade includes five separate structures, the central more
lofty, the lateral gradually descending from it, and differing also in character and
decorations. A rich cornice supports a highly-ornamented roof entirely of porcelain,
on which rests a boat or junk, sculptured with representations of various national scenes
and customs. Beneath the cornice are two oblong panels, enclosed in frames of a
bright red stone, the higher containing bas-reliefs of grotesque figures, and extraordinary
combinations ; the lower filled with apophthegms, from the writings of the great founder
of the sect of idolaters that come here to worship. Beneath this latter tablet, opens a
large circular window, the frame of which appears to have been cut, with incalculable
labour, from a single block of stone. Pilasters, wholly covered with inscriptions,
separate the central from the two lower divisions ; these are also adorned with porcelain
roofs, Chinese boats, massive cornices, and indented with tablets on which admonitions
and wise maxims are emblazoned. Each division is pierced by a square window of
large dimensions, the carvings in which, although an extraordinary evidence of untiring
labour, of unexampled perseverance, are neither beautiful nor intelligible. Probably
the object of the architect who designed them, was to establish the superiority of
industry, patience, and perseverance, over uncultivated genius. Whether he has
succeeded in this expectation, may be reasonably doubted; but it is morally certain,
that he has left a monument of his art behind, which few will possess the courage, and
fewer the desire, to imitate.
68 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
CHAPEL IN THE GREAT TEMPLE OP MACAO.
Withdraw thee from yon pagan throng awhile ;
The temple's din and bustle, both forsake ;
And, where repose in each fair form doth smile,
From the gaunt brotherhood thy lesson take : —
He errs, the page of life, recluse, who cons,
In monkish zeal — Franciscan, Dervise, Bonze.
C. J. C.
Many resemblances between the monastic habits of the Roman Catholic Church
and worship, and those of the priests of Buddha, have been observed. The mis-
sionaries themselves acknowledged the fact ; and some of them, notwithstanding their
unquestionable learning and philosophy, have exhibited an unbecoming weakness in
speaking, or rather writing, on this coincidence. The arrangements of the temple of
Macao may probably present a still closer resemblance to the modes of Christian conven-
tual life, than those of temples in the interior, from the accidental circumstance of the
presence of Roman Catholic churches in this particular place : but, wholly independent
of any such adventitious aid in the argument, the analogy in costume, mode of life,
form of worship, and other essential considerations, is so very striking, that no European
can witness the ceremonies in a Buddhist temple, without being forcibly reminded of it.
Here, at Macao, is an extensive collegiate or monastic establishment, the residence of
bonzes, who observe celibacy, dress in the simple vesture depicted in our view, and
live principally upon the bounty of the benevolent. The walls of their apartments are
not as plain and unpretending as their garments : richly ornamented with carved-work,
interspersed with bas-reliefs, and occasionally decorated with paintings, their homes
present an appearance of wealth and elegance ; and, if public report were not too often
identical with public calumny, it might be added, that the luxuries and pleasures of life
are not excluded from the bonze's board.
Entering by the chief porch, which is decorated in a style of grace, delicacy, and per-
fection, equal to that of the central building ; animals of monstrous conception, but
cleverly executed, are placed on pedestals at either side. Escaping from this contemp-
tible specimen of art, the principal apartment of the temple is reached, where all those
horrible mummeries that belong to the theory of Buddhism are performed. The high
altar of idolatry stands precisely opposite to the great circular window, represented in the
view of the Facade ; and, when the rays of the sun flow in upon the hideous idols of the
scene, their disgusting shapes, their imperfect structure, and their senseless nature, are so
ridiculously displayed, that it is difficult to say whether their votaries are more entitled
to pity or contempt. Besides the multitude of idols, as varied in size and material as in
form and attitude, the articles that surround the spectator are infinite ; and few who
come here to pray can find leisure for the purpose, attention being diverted by the
objects that present themselves at every point of space in this cabinet of curiosities.
CHAPEL IN 1 1 1 1: GREAT TEMPLE 01 MACAO. 69
The walls are decorated like those of our military armories, with halberds, swords,
matchlocks, drums, tom-toms, and other ensigns of power, or conquest, or submission ;
lanterns of different patterns, and sizes, and colours, are suspended from the roof, besides
festoons or garlands of many-coloured ribands, united by metal clasps. Bonzes are
continually in attendance upon the worshippers; and one of their duties, a duty however
in which they have a direct pecuniary interest, is that of selling little slips of red paper,
inscribed with moral maxims, or forms of prayer, or the objects of some petition which
the votary desires to present to his tutelar god. This traffic is constant and profitable,
and yields a handsome revenue to the college. On the high altar, tapers of sandal-wood
are always burning; to these the supplicant approaches, lights his red paper, then
laying it, at the feet of his favourite idol, accompanies its combustion with suitable
entreaties for assistance or protection. A door, generally standing open, and around
which a number of idle bonzes are collected, discloses a long corridor leading to the
banqueting hall and cells; strangers, however, are but jealously admitted even to peep
within these precincts.
At the opposite side of the temple from that by which the visiter enters, a staircase
leads down to a second esplanade, more limited in extent, but equally pleasing in all its
accompaniments. In the semicircular area before the chief facade, a broad paved
terrace, close to the margin of the waves, is enclosed by a stone parapet, profusely-
sculptured, and on which are graven moral maxims and sentences, extracted from the
Book of Fate, or other foolish fictions. Amidst the rocks that rise abruptly, and with a
peculiarly picturesque effect, above the water, a small chapel is intruded, containing an
image of Buddha, over which a large paper lantern is suspended. Beside this tiny
temple, is a second building, with a porcelain roof, something of an Italian cornice and
decoration, but having a spacious circular opening in front, that occupies the principal
part of the whole elevation. On a rock immediately opposite the window, stands a
pedestal, with a recipient vessel, for the offerings of the humane and zealous amongst
the visiters. Whether the expectation associated with the little hexagonal pedestal may
extend its influence to any portion of the faithful, it is difficult to decide ; but certainly
the number that visit this secluded and romantic part of the temple is considerably
smaller than is constantly to he seen in the principal cella of the building.
This fact is the more remarkable, because the scenery around the little chapel is highly
picturesque, and of that mixed and contrasted character that pleases particularly in
China. The terrace has been gained from the sea, the site of the temple from the ledge
of rock, and the intermixture of the beauties of nature with the works of art is as close
and complete as a Chinese artist could desire. Yet hour succeeds to hour, in this
sequestered spot, and neither the tread of a footstep, nor the sound of a voice, falls on
the ear of the miserable bonze, who sits within view of the place of tribute, and
presents a taper to the devotee to light his dedicatory red paper at, which he comes to
offer in the adjoining chapel.
70 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
THE EUROPEAN FACTORIES, CANTON.
Mother of wealth, and enterprise, and arts,
Her golden empire marries distant parts ;
She knits the league, she sheathes the blade of war,
Of earth, and sea, and man the conqueror.
Dread agent or for boundless good or ill,
God speaks the word, and Commerce works his will.
The foreign commerce of China, with which the history of the European factories at
Canton is associated, may be said to have been first established in the year 1517, when
Fernando Perez d'Andrada arrived at Canton with a fleet of eight ships, and, in the
name of his master, the King of Portugal, asked permission to trade. For upwards of
a century the Portuguese exclusively enjoyed this important advantage ; but about this
period, the Dutch, who had also found the way to the Oriental seas, not contented with a
trade conducted through secondary agency, resolved upon proceeding up to Canton,
and opening a direct mercantile correspondence with the Chinese people; and accident
ultimately led to the accomplishment of an object, which courage, enterprise, and ability
had attempted in vain. The Portuguese having repulsed the Dutch intruders from their
settlement of Macao, and secured the rejection of their mission to Canton by the most
deliberate calumnies, the latter withdrew first to the islet of Pehou, and subsequently
to Formosa ; there resolving to establish such a character for integrity and industry
as would completely refute the slander of their rivals, and prove themselves eminently
deserving of Chinese alliance. The apathy, or rather aversion, of Chinese to foreigners,
would have left no opportunity for the formation of friendship between the resolute
Hollanders and the Imperialists, had it not been for the occurrence of an event which
menaced the peace, the independence of the empire itself. This was the rebellion of
Kosinga, a native of Fokien, and a man of consummate abilities, who not only retained
the provinces of Fokien, Quang-tung, and Quang-si under his command — the others
having acknowledged the Tartar emperor — but also made himself master of Formosa.
Kosinga resisted the power of a throne with better fortune, and most probably with
truer principles of patriotism, than either Rienzi, or Masaniello, to whom he may be
compared by historians ; and when he fell, it was in the arms of victory, who took up
the fallen diadem of Formosa, and placed it upon the head of his son. Their treachery
to the brave patriot rendering a residence on his island no longer safe, and the aid given
to the emperor entitling them to consideration, the Dutch were permitted to remove to
the suburbs of Canton, and there erect a factory for the better conduct of their trade.
This migration took place in the year 1762.
Encouraged by the example of commercial rivals, more especially of Spain and
Portugal, the English endeavoured to extend their trade in the Indian Ocean. For this
enterprising purpose, Sir Robert Dudley fitted out three ships, and, procuring a letter
THE EUROPEAN FACTORIES, (ANTON.
from Queen Elizabeth to the ruler of China, directed Benjamin Wood, the commander "I
this little expedition, « to pierce as far as Cathay." It does not appear thai Dudley's
fleet ever reached the shores of China, nor can anything that has been heard of it
from the Spaniards, by whom it is suspected the crews were inhumanly murdered, be
relied on. This misfortune only added to the animosity previously engendered between
the English and the chief commercial countries of Europe ; and the scene- of treacherj
and carnage between them, the Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch, that now ensued,
very naturally led the emperor to repudiate the advances of all Europeans, and gave a
much stronger hold, a still deeper root, to those prejudices which had so long excluded
the " barbarian " from this ancient country.
In 1(»:57 a resolute movement for the opening of a direct trade with China, was again
made by the English, who despatched four ships, the Dragon, Sun, Catherine, and Anne,
besides a pinnace, the whole under the command of Captain Weddel, to Macao, then
settled by the Portuguese. Their reception there being accompanied by vexatious
exactions, and circumstances of suspicion, the captain resolved on proceeding in the
pinnace to Canton, and learning, if possible, the truth of the Portuguese statemet
as well as the real sentiments of the Chinese government toward his countrymen
generally. Interrupted in their approach to Canton by deputies, and envoys, and com-
missioners, and mandarins, they were induced to place confidence in the repeated
promises and assertions of these artful functionaries, and at length agreed to a truce for
four days. During this interval, the Chinese secretly conveyed several pieces <>l
ordnance to a position commanding the anchorage of the four English vessels, which
had followed; and, at a moment when they supposed them to be completely off then-
guard, treacherously fired upon the little fleet. To a people less civilized, less brave, or
less generous to their enemies, this violation of faith would have been deemed a signal
for the resumption of hostilities; but in the heart of an Englishman, it excited only the
Strongest and most lasting contempt and indignation. The Chinese fire, ill-directed,
did but little mischief; hut not so the cool, steady, but rapid broadsides of the English
ships, which answered; and which soon silenced the battery, drove the cowards Iron,
their guns, and taught them respect for the flag of England. Tins spirited conducl
obtained an immediate recognition of the British, who were for a time permitted to
barter their cargoes with the native merchants.
A-ain, however, Portuguese duplicity came into operation, and augmented thai
hatred towards the British which fear of their power, and chagrin at the chasUsemen.
received from them, had created. Without any provocation, the English were declared
to be "enemies of China ;" they were designated by the insulting soubriquet el « deviU :
and all Chinamen who should dare to trade with these barbarians, were pronounced to
be guilty of treason.
In 1676, during the first period of the Tartar conquest, and before the southern
provinces had submitted to the new dynasty, the English obtained a footing on the
islands of Amoy and Quemong, where the Easl Lndia Company erected factories; hot.
upon the submission of these places also to the Mantchou conquerors in L680, the 3 were
72 CHINA ILLt-'STRATED.
obliged to abandon these establishments. Four years afterwards, when internal peace
was restored to the empire, the government of Formosa arranged, and the arts of
industry resumed in the sea-port towns, the English were allowed to re-occupy the
factory at Amoy ; and they retained it until, by the edict which restricted all foreign
commerce to Macao and Canton, retention became both illegal and unprofitable ; upon
which they removed their officers and establishment to Canton, where their trade with
the Celestial Empire was prosperously conducted until the year 1833. At this last
date, the Parliament of England, then engaged in reforming several departments of the
government, remodelled the charter of the East India Company, throwing open the
China trade, previously monopolized by that great body, to the merchants of Great
Britain at large, and confining the care of the Directors, in future, to the military
and civil departments.
Upon the extinction of the East India Company's extraordinary mercantile monopoly
with China, a superintendent of British trade with that empire was appointed, and Lord
Napier was the first person chosen to discharge this duty. On his lordship's arrival at
Canton, however, the viceroy unexpectedly refused to acknowledge his credentials,
alleging that this change in the mode of managing the British trade had not been offi-
cially communicated to the court of Pekin. This plea does not appear completely
groundless ; but so great is the perfidy of the Chinese character, that no reliance can.
be placed upon any assertion or pledge of its state-officers. Lord Napier for awhile
resisted the obstruction, and even directed the occupation of the roadstead at Whampoa
by two men-of-war; an order not performed without resistance, the forts of Bocca
Tigris and Tiger Island having fired upon our vessels. Finding remonstrance vain, and
perseverance attended with the most grievous injury and loss to the interests of the
British, his lordship retired to Macao, resolving there to await the result of an applica-
tion to the highest authority, but died almost immediately after his arrival at that port.
Upon the death of Lord Napier, Mr. Davis undertook the protection of his country-
men's property and trade at Canton, to which no impediment was opposed, until the
occurrence of the memorable opium question, which was only decided by the entire
submission of China to British arms in 1842.
Although permitted to establish commercial agents, and erect factories or stores for
business, and residence, at Canton, all foreigners have hitherto been treated with the
utmost illiberality by the Imperial government. Notwithstanding the warmth of the
climate, and consequent insalubrity of a residence almost below the sea-level, and
surrounded by stagnant water, the site appropriated to the foreign factories of all
nations, a space not exceeding eight hundred feet in length or frontage, by four hun-
dred in depth, was formerly a putrid marsh. Piles being driven to a great depth,
a secure foundation was obtained, and on these " The Thirteen Hongs" have been
erected. Flag-staffs in front of each are adorned with their respective national colours,
and every factory is designated by some distinguishing or descriptive epithet, after the
Chinese custom. The British factory is called " the Hong that ensures tranquillity;"
the American, "of the Many Fountains;" the Dutch, "of the Yellow Flag;" the
CHE EUROPEAN FACTORIES, CANTON. 7.'i
Austrian, of "the Twin-Eagle;" the Swedish, Parsee, Danish, and French, are also
Not farther back than the year 18.'M, the floods that descended the Pearl river com-
pletely inundated the wharfs and ground-stories of the European factories, so that
communication was preserved, both between the houses in the foreign quarter and with
those in the city, by means of boats ; and the long continuance of this calamity
occasioned great sickness and mortality amongst the merchants. lint this affliction
produced no happy effect upon the Chinese authorities, nor obtained for the foreigner
the smallest relaxation of that rigid code by which his intercourse with this unfeeling
and relentless nation is regulated- At the back of the Factories, is a narrow creek
charged with all the impurities from the city-sewers; and in front are stairs or slips
affording convenient places for the loading and discharge of cargoes. Two avenues,
China Street, and Hog Lane, intersect the space occupied by the Factories and stores ;
the first is a broad and handsome opening, having many well-furnished shops, the
fronts of which are inscribed with mottos, calculated to attract customers, but not
adorned in that fanciful and costly manner which prevails within the city-streets, from
which, however, all foreigners are jealously excluded. Hog Lane possesses a totally
different character— narrow, inconvenient, gloomy, occupied by the lowest classes,
frequented only by persons of equally equivocal reputation, and frequently the scene of
tumult, theft, and even assassination. Europeans are confined strictly to their own
quarter or suburb, which hardly exceeds a few square yards in superficies, and the
greater portion generally enjoy the refreshing breeze on the house-tops, whenever an
aquatic excursion, which has always been tolerated, is inconvenient There is a prome-
nade called "Respondentia Walk," enclosed by railing, and forming an agreeable lounge,
where merchants, commanders, and civil officers connected with the Factories, meet in
the cool moments of evening ; but, with the exception of this little terrace, there is not
more space allowed to foreigners than is sufficient for the bonding or the standing of
their goods, during the regular process of purchase, exchange, and shipping.
The two streets just mentioned divide the Hongs into three separate groups : the
western, containing the French and Spanish Factories, along with the house of a Hanist
or Chinese merchant who deals with foreigners; — the middle, the British, Danish, Ame-
rican, and Austrian ; — the eastern, the Hong of the East India Company, the most graceful
and architectural of all, being adorned with a portico and columns, and having a pleasure-
ground railed round, and overlooking the river. Prohibition against entering the gates
of the city, and strict confinement to the very limited and unhealthy space allotted to
the foreigner, renders a lengthened residence here disagreeable to most persons, and
intolerably humiliating to all, save the votaries of wealth and commerce. The late
conquest therefore of the Chinese empire by Great Britain, which has ended in the
opening of other ports, and the cession of Hong-Kong, will either remedy the inconve-
nience of a residence at Canton, or cause the total removal of its profitable trade to
Amoy, Ning-po, Macao, or Queen-town, although the latter is only designed to be
a place for bonding goods.
74 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
APARTMENT IN A MANDARIN'S HOUSE,
Cease, western islander, nor rudely call
Barbarian, yonder gentle family.
What boasts thy proud saloon, or board, or wall,
Which lacketh here — of true civility ?
Hast thou outs trip t? Be modest. — Such as these
Were China's sons, when ye were savages.
C. J. C.
The interior of a Mandarin's House affords a more satisfactory idea of the mode of
living prevalent in the Chinese empire, than any other scene that could be selected from
the drama of their history. Less partial to external decoration and magnificence in pub-
lic architecture than the ancient Greeks and Romans, the internal arrangements of their
dwellings appear to be precisely analogous ; and, an examination of the exhumed houses
of Pompeii, will abundantly demonstrate this remarkable and not uninteresting fact.
That the Celestials did not import their notions of domestic architecture from Rome
may be unhesitatingly admitted ; whence it follows, that we have existing, in all its
primitive truthfulness, the same description of dwelling, and probably nearly similar
habits of life, which we regard with so much curiosity and wonder in the crumbling
fragments of the buried city. In describing subsequent illustrations, more immediately
representing the architectural design, the ichnographic plan, and the various parts that
compose a mandarin's palace, the identity of Roman with Chinese domestic architecture
shall be more fully detailed. One extract, however, from the description of a private
house at Pompeii, may, with much propriety, be here introduced. " Those apartments
that were devoted exclusively to private accommodation, included the dining and bed-
rooms, picture-gallery, library, baths, and portico, in which flowers and shrubs were
ranged along. On the walls of the private rooms, various designs are painted ; sometimes
basso-relievos are the chief decoration, in which, however, a very morbid taste is
generally exhibited ; but the floors are inlaid with elaborate and often beautiful mosaic
work ; yet these costly ornaments can scarcely compensate for the absence of many
domestic comforts which moderns enjoy. No glass, save in the villa of Diomede, has
been discovered at Pompeii ; and no fire-places adorn their apartments, or contribute to
their ventilation. The roof of the house was generally a terrace protected by a wall ;
and the women's apartments looked towards the garden, a custom still observed in the
In China, as in ancient Italy, the apartments appropriated exclusively to the accom-
modation of the family are numerous, but limited in dimensions — generally of a square
form, situated in the most remote part of the house from the chief door of entrance, or
rather front porch, and guarded most jealously from intrusion. The approaches to them
\l Uil'MI'.NT IN A MANDARINS HOUSE. 'O
from the state-rooms, from the great court, from the vestibule, are always long, narrow,
dark, and intricate, found with difficulty by persons unacquainted with the establish-
ment; and, although the material of which the whole edifice, with its corridors, win--.
and pavilions is composed, is of the most fragile character, and the walls that enclose it
easily scaled by those who were resolved upon plunder or admission ; yet such is the
force of prejudice, habit, and established confidence in the efficient administration of law,
that these childish contrivances appear to afford ample imagined security.
The illustration represents a boudoir or inner room, where the mandarin, his lady, a
nurse and child, are assembled, and paying the most deliberate attention to the character
which an itinerant merchant is giving of his goods. In Persia, Hindoo, and other
Oriental countries, where luxury is habitual, even the most wealthy recline on carpets
spread on the floor, or on couches laid close to the wall all around the room ; but in
China, chairs, tables, and sofas, resembling those in universal use throughout Europe.
are employed ; nor has it been ascertained that any other Asiatics have adopted this
article of furniture. The chair in which the matron is seated is supposed to be of
bamboo, the seat, sides, and drapery of which are generally of silk, and richly embroi-
dered by the ladies of the family. Beside her, in all the accustomed dignity of manner
that characterizes his country and his rank, is the wealthy master of the house, who has
just risen from his chair that stands nearest to the window, a more convenient position for
one occupied in the disgusting amusement of smoking. But, however unfashionable
and excluded from polite life this practice may be in England, its prevalence in China
is so widely spread, as to render its introduction into the drawing-room perfectly
allowable ; and empadores are placed in every room, to save the floor from the conse-
quences of those oral clearances that are necessary during this indulgence. Although
the lady is so intent upon purchasing, no devotion to fashion or alteration in the manner
of dress actuates her ; for, here fashion has not yet effected a conquest, the only
variations that are made in female costume being those which change of seasons impe-
ratively demand. The costume of a lady of rank generally consists of vests of taffeta
under a silk netting, within doors, to which is added a long robe of embroidered satin as
the external garment. Every shade of colour is chosen, according to the taste of the
individual ; and the decorations, as well as disposition of jewels and other ornaments,
are dependent altogether upon fancy. Yet one system seems to prevail in society, ■-"
that the description of the costume of an individual will apply with truth to all. The
utmost care is bestowed on ornamenting the head ; the hair, after being smoothed with
oil and closely twisted, is brought to the crown of the head, and there fastened with
bodkins of gold or silver; across the forehead is a band or fillet, from which depends,
something in the manner of a Mary-Queen-of-Scots' cap, a peak of velvet, decorated
with a diamond or pearl, and artificial flowers are sometimes fancifully arranged on each
side of the face. In full dress, during visits, or the reception of visiters, earrings are
worn ; and a string of perfumed beads suspended from the shoulder, also forms a portion
of the full-dress ornaments. Cosmetics, or rather their uses, are perfectly understood
amongst ladies of rank, who endeavour to make their eyebrows appear long, narrow,
76 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
black, and arched ; they use both red and white paint profusely, and generally place a
very decided red spot on the lower lip.
That the maid shall not be mistaken for the mistress by those whose intercourse
with society may have been limited or profitless, she is obliged to wear on the wrist, as
a badge of distinction, a tutenag or ring of brass ; and her little charge, the hope of the
family, is rendered ridiculous by two queues, which are encouraged to grow from each
side of the head.
Amongst itinerant traders, the value of exactly balancing their loads is very fully
appreciated; and it is often the case, that when the burden cannot be divided, a
stone is placed in the empty pail, box, or basket. The pedlar has carried both his
chests into the room, one of which he has opened, and is displaying its contents ; the
counterpoise stands immediately behind him, together with the bamboo rod, and cords,
from which both are suspended. A servant approaches with tea, or some other
refreshment, which he is about to present to the pedlar, unbounded hospitality being
a leading feature in every true picture of Chinese life and habits.
Besides the gracefulness of the oval opening, encircled by a carved frame or cornice,
it possesses an advantage that must not pass unnoticed— it is the only window of the
apartment. Like the Romans, the Chinese do not employ glass in their windows ; the
former used a transparent stone called lapis specularis, capable of being split into thin
plates, and this was introduced into the palaces of the most wealthy or luxurious only.
What species of stone this was, we are left to conjecture; but, that stone suitable for
such purposes is known and employed in the present age, those are familiar with who have
seen the mica, (talc, glimmer,) or Muscovy glass, which the Russians first used in the
windows of their men-of-war, because it withstood the shock of artillery better than the
best glass was capable of doing. The same substitutes for glass, however, have been
adopted by the Chinese ; namely, horn, pearl-shell, linen-cloth, silk-gauze, oiled-paper,
to which they have added bamboo blinds.
On one side of the room, just behind the nurse and child, are cabinets, or chiffoneers,
in English, " What-nots," the shelves of which are occupied by dishes of fruits, little jars
of perfumed woods, tapers, and other articles of luxury, recreation, or necessity. These
stands maybe formed either of Japan lacquered-ware, of bamboo varnished, or of hard
wood, carved after the most complicated patterns, like the rich pillars that support the
ceiling. On the left, and just beside the oval opening, is a splendid massive stand of
hard wood, with a marble top, that forms the ground of a piece of shell-work, or
rock-work, representing the villa of a prince or mandarin, in Tartary, or Keang-nan,
or some other mountainous and romantic part of the empire. Jars constitute a favourite
ornament in every house, and from their beauty and costliness are now duly admitted
into all English drawing-rooms. The partiality for these beautiful objects of manufac-
ture is traceable to the circumstance of their having first been placed in Buddhist and
other temples, and thereby associated with the religion of the country.
No article of furniture, or object of manufacture, seems to have acquired greater
popularity amongst the Chinese than the lantern ; the bamboo would appear to be
CAT MERCHANTS AND TEA DEALERS AT TONG CHOW. 77
indispensable to their existence, the lantern to their happiness. No apartment i-
furnished without an assortment of these articles. A Iarue. splendid, costly lantern,
adorned with silk curtains and tassels of the richest quality and most gorgeous colours,
hangs from the roof; while from other parts, as well as from branches that project from
the wall, minor luminaries contribute their aid in discharging the twofold duty of
ornaments by day, and fountains of light by night. In ability to illuminate, the lantern
is very inferior either to the glittering old chandelier of England's palmy days, or to the
bright flame of the gas-lamp; and the smoke that escapes from it is more intolerable
than the odour of the tobacco with which the whole mansion is infected at evening-time.
Mr. Allom, whose knowledge of Chinese architecture is only exceeded by his ability in
delineating it, has chosen to represent the floor of the " Apartment in a Mandarin's
House " as tiled; this is frequently the case, and it renders the apartment peculiarly
brilliant ; but bricks are also very extensively employed for flooring, over which bamboo
mats are spread, to hide the deformity and to guard against cold.
CAT MERCHANTS AXD TEA DEALERS AT TONG-CHOW.
What, eat poor pussy ! Eat my pet,
So soft and gentle, sleek and warm ?
Go, gorge truss'd mice; I'll not regret :
Tastes differ; and — the breed may swarm.
" Cat" may eat rarely in a stew or pie :
Let mine purr pleasure, — I've no wish to try.
C. J. C.
Twelve miles from Peking, and at the point where the Pei-ho ceases to be navigable by-
junks or boats of burden, is situated Tong-chow-foo, a city of the second rank. It is sur-
rounded by brick walls upwards of sixty feet in height, and possesses a dense population,
apparently in a state of poverty, although, from the place being the port of Peking, an
active trade is conducted. Hither the produce and manufacture of the southern pro-
vinces, as well as any foreign importations that elude the vigilance of Imperial illiberally
at the sea-ports, are carried, and landed, and hence conveyed to the capital. In English
history, the name of this populous, bustling, yet impoverished place, occurs ; for it was
here that Duke Ho, and President Muh, had that memorable interview with Lord
Amherst, in which they explained to his excellency the nature and necessity of those
genuflexions and prostrations which he would be called upon to make when presented to
the emperor. It may possibly form a subject of regret that our ambassador returned
without having accomplished any of the objects of his expensive mission ; and it is known
that Napoleon ridiculed his fastidiousness: but, judging from subsequent experience of
78 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
Chinese character, it is more than probable that, had his lordship yielded a single point,
where the honour and dignity of his country and sovereign were concerned, as " increase
of appetite grows by what it feeds on," the Chinese would have grown more insolent in
their demands, and he would have left, with the additional chagrin of having paid
homage, in the name of his royal master, to a Tartar potentate. Napoleon was not an
emperor when he smiled at the squeamislmess of the British ambassador; when the
imperial diadem enwrapped his brow, he would not have suffered his representative to
make an obeisance so humiliating, and in the name of France, before any monarch in
the civilized world.
A sufficient supply of wholesome food seems to be the influencing power, the spring
of action, the end of industry, in every part of our globe ; and the difference in the
degrees of avidity with which mankind pursue it, is regulated by the degree of civiliza-
tion and intelligence to which they have attained. It does not follow, that the acquisition
of food is an object of less anxious attention in the educated countries of Europe,
because they subdue the coarser appetites of our nature, and publicly exalt intellectual
pursuits and refinements. Such nations have the same natural wants as their Eastern
fellow-creatures ; but, the very refinement which conceals them is also an auxiliary to
the acquisition of a regular and satisfying supply. In China the voracity of the people
obtrudes itself continually ; every object of industry or occupation seems to have
such a tendency to the appeasing of appetite, that it becomes rather a disgusting con-
templation. The rich and elevated are decided epicures ; the middle and lower classes
as decided sensualists. The tastes of the one are scarcely limited by the extent of their
revenues, the voracity of the other unrestricted by the most nauseous species of food.
Being the most omnivorous people in the world, there is nor an animal or plant that can be
procured by art and industry, and eaten without risk of life, that is not pressed into the
service by these gastronomers : the flesh of wild horses is highly prized, the larvae of the
sphinx-moth, bears' paws, and the feet of other animals brought from Tartary, Cambodia,
and Siam, are deemed delicious ; and edible birds'-nests are esteemed at the banquets
of the mandarins, for which they are occasionally made into a soup.* In the market of
Tong-chow, to which the stewards of the noble families of Peking repair to purchase
viands for their lords, " it is a good diversion to see the butchers, when they are carrying
dogs' flesh to any place, or when they are leading five or six dogs to the slaughter-house :
for, all the dogs in the street, drawn together by the cries of those going to be killed, or
the smell of those already dead, fall upon the butchers, who are obliged to go always
armed with a long staff, or great whip, to defend themselves from their attack, as also to
keep their doors close shut, that they may exercise their trade in safety."' The salesmen
enter the market-place, or step from their junks upon shore, having baskets suspended
at the extremities of a carrying-pole, in which are contained dogs, cats, rats, or birds,
either tame or wild, generally alive — sea-slugs, and grubs found in the sugar-cane. The
species of dog most in request is a small spaniel ; the poor animals appear particularly
* Soup mude of mare's milk and duck's blood was served up at a banquet given to Lord Amherst.
CAT MERCHANTS AND TEA DEALERS IT TONG-CHOW. 7!)
dejected in their imprisonment, not even looking up in the hope of freedom : whilst
the eats, on the contrary., maintain an incessant squalling, and seem never to despair "I
escaping from a fate which otherwise must prove inevitable. To a foreigner, Christian
or Turk, the sight is sufficiently trying, both regarding the dog as amongst the i t
faithful of inferior animals, and the cat as one of the most useful. In the ancient
Chinese writings, cats are spoken of as a delicacy at table; but the species alluded to
was found wild in Tartary, and brought thence into China, where they were regularly
fed lor the markets df the principal cities. As far as appearance is concerned, rats,
when butchered, for they are not brought to market alive, are by no means disgusting.
They are neatly prepared, slit down the breast, and hung in rows from the carrying-
poles by skewers passed through their distended hind-legs.
In the immediate vicinity of the wharfs, or horses' heads, the accustomed name for
landing-places or jetties amongst the Chinese, at Tong- chow, are stalls where refresh-
ments are sold to the boatmen and loungers; tea, however, is the universal beverage;
and the vender, standing beneath a canopy of sail-cloth, made of the fibre of the bam-
boo, and supported by bamboo canes, invites all passers-by to taste the favourite
refreshment. Cups, much inferior in capacity to those in general use amongst us.
are laid with regularity along a marble counter, at the end of which stands a stove and
boiler, where the tea is prepared and kept warm. The scene around presents an extra-
ordinary instance of the universal application of the bamboo. Beside the tarpaulin
supporters, table-frame, and trellis-work of the tea-vender's shop, the conical baskets
in which the cats are brought to market, the pole from which they are suspended, the
broad-leafed hat of the cat-merchant, the walking-stick of the buyer, the masts, sails,
ropes, of the trading junks which lie close to the shore, as well as the frame-work and
sail-cloths that sustain and form an awning, are all obtained or manufactured from this
Tastes less fastidious would probably not repudiate the wild birds, eagles, storks,
hawks, and owls, which are amongst the rarities arrayed by poulterers ; although they
are excluded from all European markets, with perhaps little reflection upon the grounds
of that exclusion. But the popular fowl in China is the duck, in the rearing of which Chi-
nese perseverance and animal instinct are conspicuous. In every province, the peasantry
are familiar with the mode of hatching eggs by heat, either in an oven or a manure-heap.
When the ducklings are able to be removed, they are put into boats, and carried away to
the nearest mud hank or heap where shell-fish feed. Arrived at the scene of action, the
conductor strikes on a gong, or blows a whistle, upon which signal his flock instantly
paddle away to the feeding-ground, and commence a search for everything digestible. On
the repetition of the signal, they paddle hack again to their respective convej ances unerr-
ingly, although one hundred boats, and so many flocks, might lie on the feeding-ground at
the same time. As the flock approaches, the conductor places a broad plank against
the boat's side for the young waddlers to ascend; and the scene that takes place when
the crowd reaches the plank is both interesting and ludicrous. It forms part of the
conductor's duty to chastise the loiterers, hut reward the most docile and active ; this he
80 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
does by giving the foremost of those that return some paddy, but the last a few taps of
a bamboo; when, therefore, they reach the inclined plane, the efforts of all are
redoubled, and the older and stronger actually waddle over the backs of the juniors into
the boat, influenced evidently by a sense of rewards and punishments. This mode of
feeding, however, is little calculated to produce fat or tender food; and when the
ducks are dried, they present the appearance of skin strained over an anatomical prepa-
tion of that aquatic bird. "A man hawking about the streets of a town," says Mr. Lay,
" with a bundle of dried ducks at his back, might be taken as a characteristic of the
Chinese nation. The blood of the domestic fowl is spilled upon the ground, but that
of the duck is preserved in a small vessel, that it may be moulded into a cake by the
process of coagulation ; it is then put into water, to displace a portion of the colour, and
to enhance its good qualities. We see then that the Chinese are discriminating, even in
the use of that inhibited article, blood : < For blood, with the flesh thereof, which is the
life thereof, ye shall not eat."
WHAMPOA, FROM DANE'S ISLAND.
" Your argosies with portly sail,
Like signiors and rich burghers of the flood,
Or, as it were, the pageants of the sea, —
Do overpeer the petty traffickers,
That curt'sy to them, do them reverence."
Before the complete establishment of British naval and military superiority over the
Chinese, the channel of Whampoa was known only as the roadstead where foreign
vessels, trading to Canton, were obliged to drop their anchors. In the passage up
from Bocca Tigris, two bars are crossed ; the second, near to the entrance— the first,
immediately eastward of a group of islands, the principal of which are named by
Europeans, French, Dane's, and Whampoa. Some little freedom of intercourse was
formerly permitted, and the crews were suffered to land, and enjoy the pleasures of
society, provided they scrupulously respected the prejudices of the natives. Besides, of
this cluster of islets, there was one generously conceded to foreigners as a burial-ground,
upon payment, however, of exorbitant fees. The gratification of a natural curiosity,
which induced merchants and mariners to land here, was frequently dearly bought; the
insolence of the younger members of the native community to strangers being- insup-
portable, while the elder branches only awaited opportunity to plunder and ill-treat
them. It has been pleaded that the English, American, as well as the sailors of other
western countries, when allowed to go ashore on these islands, indulged too copiously in
draughts of seaou-tclioo, an ardent spirit distilled from a mixture of rice and other
WHAMPOA, FROM DANE'S ISLAND. B]
-vain: and, losing all self-control, wore guilty of acts of violence— that they entered
the temples, ridiculed the popular faith, and broke the hideous monsters to which the
Chinese bend the knee. This charge may be based on fact, and parallel instances may
be adduced from the accounts of voyagers, but the invincible prejudices of the Chinese
to strangers, from immemorial time, can hardly have originated in events of compara-
tively recent occurrence.
French Island, westward of Dane's Island, forms the side scene of the illustration:
it is one vast cemetery, divided impartially between the foreigner and the native, and
occupied with the humble, low-lying tablet that records the early fall of the one, far
from the place of his birth, as well as with the pompous, semicircular mausoleum which
distinguishes, by its sweep and architecture, the rank and wealth of the other, whose
pride lies humbled beneath it. To the left of the view is seen the entrance to the Tay-
wang-kow passage, Junk river, which bounds Whampoa island, and separates it from
The picturesque prospect which Whampoa and its encircling islets presents, has
been the theatre of many military events. Placed in the very centre of the highway to
Canton, from which it is but ten miles distant, it should be fortified with all the science
of the age, and at any cost that such security might be attended with ; but the autho-
rities, relying too confidently upon the fortresses at Chuenpee, Tycoektow, Bocca Tigris,
and Tiger island, have injudiciously neglected the more available position. When the
Modcste, a British frigate, was directed, during the late Chinese war, to pass Whampoa
towards Canton, and subsequently the Sulphur was placed under similar orders, the
opposition given by the battery at Howqua's Folly at the north-west extremity of
Whampoa island, and by Fort Napier, which is directly opposite, was so contemptible
that it is merely mentioned but not dwelt upon in the despatches. Howcpia's folly.
built after Admiral Drury's expedition, is a quadrangular structure, entirely of hewn
granite, and mounting eight-and-twenty guns. It is called from its founder, who is
supposed to have been converted into a patriot either by " a squeeze," or by a desire to
escape the imperial wrath. The derivation of "Napier's Fort," will probably present
itself more immediately, from the recollection that it was to this precise anchorage his
lordship ordered up two sail-of-the-line, when the Canton authorities doubted his cre-
dentials. Between these two forts, stakes were driven into the river-bed; and old junks
were sunk, to obstruct the passage of the British ; but the employment of war-steamers
in the British navy since the previous visit of our ships to Whampoa, had escaped the
knowledge of the Chinese, and gave to all their childish contrivances an appearance of
The feeling of security that has hitherto accompanied the possession of Whampoa,
induced the government to erect here several substantial stores for the reception of
rice. This necessary of life is laid up at the expense of the emperor in the event of
scarcity, when it is sold at little or no profit to the poor. Should an abundant harvest
reduce the price of grain, then the custodees of the public granaries are empowered to
82 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
purchase largely ; if a less plentiful season occur, to sell at a moderate loss ; and if an
absolute famine happen, then the granaries are thrown open to the poor.
On a mound adjacent to the town, and near the western end of the island, the
Whampoa pagoda rises to a height of one hundred and seventy feet; beyond the Junk
river on the right, and on the point of Junk island, is another, inferior in gracefulness
and height ; and on the further bank of the Tay-wang-kow passage, a beautiful, light,
and tapering temple stands conspicuously prominent. Canton-reach extends from
Whampoa and French islands in a western direction, and is enclosed on the north by
a range of lofty and rugged hills that form a delightful drooping distance.
THEATRE AT TIEN SIN.
" Alas ! that Vice's brand should stamp the stage —
Life's picture, and resuscitated page !
There might our unschool'd crowds delighted stand,
Each acted lesson view, and understand.
Some read to learn ; to listen some prefer ;
To teach beholders rose the theatre.' C. J. C.
" There is one city in the metropolitan province of Petche-le, that has a greater trade,
is much more populous, and richer than most others, though it is not of the first order,
and has no jurisdiction ; it is called Tien-tching-ouei ; and since the map was made, it is
placed in the rank of tcheou, or cities of the second order. It is situated at the place
where the imperial canal which comes from Lin-tchin-tcheou joins to the river of Peking.
A great mandarin resides here, and is a principal of the officers who preside over the
salt-works along the sea-coast of the provinces of Pe-tche-le and Chan-tong ; all the
vessels which bring timber from East Tartary, after they have crossed the bay of Leaou-
tong, come to unload in this port, which is but twenty leagues from Peking."
Such is the pithy account of the Citta Celeste of Marco Polo left us by the Jesuits,
who surveyed every locality of the empire with a penetration never exceeded by any
European traveller; and, although their topographical description is insufficient to satisfy
modern inquiry, it includes the principal points that then deserved attention at this city,
while the stationary condition of the Chinese people ever since, renders it as applicable
to-day as when it was originally written.
The conflux of the rivers Pei-ho and Eu-ho, the former opening a communication
with the capital, eighty miles distant, and with the sea, fifty miles ; the latter, by means
of the imperial canal, with all the southern provinces, conferred an early commercial
importance upon Tien-sin. There is a bar at the entrance of the river, and the depth
of water above the city is but imperfectly known to foreigners; so that sailing-vessels,
or ships of large burden, should not venture up without a native pilot ; but from their
light draught, and facility of direct and retrograde movements, steamers may navigate
THEATRE AT TIEN SIN.
its whole course with safety. His imperial majesty, Taou-kwang, (Reason's Glory,) is
probably still ignorant of the bold enterprise, lately meditated against his capital bj the
captain of a British man-of-war cruising off the mouth of the Pei-ho—
" Had the Chinese turned restive," writes Lord Jocelyn, " eight hours would have taken the steamer and
corvette, filled with seamen, marines and field-pieces to the town of Tien-sin, at the head of the greal canal,
the depot of all their northern trade and supplies. Their fleet of junks being then hum., an evenl which would
have crippled their means of sending reinforcements to the mouth of the river, and the town being Bet on lire,
nearly within sight of the imperial city, must have caused a panic and distress that would have shaken the empire
to ils very base. They seemed to be aware that this was feasible, and dreaded it themselves."
In the most busy and populous commercial towns, where labour appears only to be
suspended from an apprehension of exhausting the physical powers of the labourer, the
greatest variety of public shows and entertainments, the largest number of coffee-houses,
restaurateurs, assembly-rooms, and theatres, are always found; a sufficient evidence that
in such localities they receive the largest share of patronage. This remark applies
with more than common appropriateness to Tien-sin, which has long been celebrated
as the chief place of trade in the province, as well as for its everlasting scenes of recre-
ation and gaiety.
Many Europeans have visited this Chinese Liverpool; and the courtesies which
commercial intercourse engenders, have here procured for them a more liberal reception,
and a less restrained sojourn, than they must have met with in other parts of China.
Buildings, wharfs, manufactures, warehouses, and dockyards, extend along the banks of
the Pei-ho, for upwards of two miles and a half; and the surface of the water, during
all that length, is so closely covered with junks, that a narrow passage-way only is
reserved by the river-police.
The multitudes that crowd the decks of this countless fleet, are not devoted wholly
to navigation; they include whole families, who lead a sort of amphibious life— " every
shore to them is foreign, and the earth an element on which they venture but occasion-
ally." Twice have our embassies passed and repassed this great emporium ; and the
description of the spectacle which it presented on these occasions is calculated to give
a very imposing idea of Chinese enterprise, wealth, discipline, and civilization. During
one of these transits, the pageant was witnessed by such a multitude as, even in China,
was rarely seen. The decks of the vessels were completely occupied, numbers stootl in
the shallow water between them and the shore, while a dense and continuous crowd lined
the sloping banks from the houses to the water's edge. The gradual descent of the
ground on each side gave the spectacle the appearance of some vast amphitheatre. The
enormous diameter of the umbrageous hat rendering it a perfect nuisance, on an occa-
sion where heads were jammed as closely as if they were screwed together, the array of
so many thousand bare bald pates so situated, and exposed to the influence of a meri-
dian sun, when the thermometer stood at ninety, must have been truly astonishing.
Along the banks of the river, large hags of salt are generally piled up in a conical form,
and covered carefully with matting. During the passing of the ambassadorial proces-
sion, these heaps of salt were also tenanted, presenting the appearance of so man)
84 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
pyramids of heads.* In all the ardour of curiosity which evidently existed on this
public demonstration, it was remarkable that no disturbance occurred ; a sense of mutual
accommodation pervaded the multitudinous assembly, nor were police or military per-
mitted to appear, or mingle with the crowd.
It was while the state-barges lay moored before the viceroy's palace, that a tempo-
rary theatre was erected on the quay, with a fanciful orchestra behind it, in which
a dramatic entertainment, after the national manner, was represented, for the gratification
of the embassy. The exterior of the building was decorated with a variety of brilliant
and lively colours, by the proper distribution, as well as contrast of which, the Chinese
are able to produce the most pleasing effects. The front was left completely open
towards the river, and the interior adorned with the same elegance and success.
The performance was continued without interruption during a whole day, pantomime and
historic dramas taking alternate possession of the boards. Strict attention was paid to
costume, the actors being uniformly habited in the ancient dresses of the age in which
the personages represented were supposed to have lived. A kind of recitative supplied
tire place of dialogue, accompanied by a variety of musical instruments, in which the
gong, kettle-drum, and trumpet were conspicuous, each pause being filled up by a loud
crash, such as our "brass bands" sometimes introduce. Every actor announced on his
first entrance the part he was about to perform, — where the scene was laid, and other
explanatory circumstances ; but this precaution is only observed when the audience are
foreigners, or imperfectly acquainted with the language of China.
THE IMOGENE AND ANDROMACHE PASSING THE BOCCA TIGRIS.
How should the wit of Chinaman conceive
The thunder of Old England's oaken war?
His puny flutt'nng fleet may deftly thieve ;
His nautic empire raise or sink a Bar :
Ouu Line he never saw — how then believe? —
Nor heard of Nelson, or of Trafalgar.
C. J. C.
Having much confidence in " sound and fury," the Chinese calculated upon exciting
terror by noise and high-sounding epithets, and reverence by those of the most extra-
vagant pretensions. Their emperor is styled Teaou-kwang, or Reason's Glory ; and
dragon, serpent and tiger, are terms of frequent application, where strength, power, or
punishment is implied. The costume of the Tartar soldier is made to resemble the
* A calculation was made by Mr. Barrow of the quantity of salt contained in the pyramids of bags standing
on the quays of Tien-sin when he passed by them, and it was found to be sufficient for the consumption of thirty
millions of people for one whole year. A considerable revenue is derived from the gabel/e, or salt-duty, and the
situation of collector at this place is one of the most lucrative appointments in the imperial gift.
THE (MOGENE IND INDROMACHE PASSING THE H< >< t \ TIGKIS.
skin of the spotted tiger; heads of the same fierce and active animal arc represented
on their shields, as well as on the embrasures of the batteries. The must famous
fortress in all China is that on Tiger Island; and the narrow opening in the Canton
river, which is protected by an amazing number of cannon, is designated Bocca Tigris,
or the Tiger's Mouth.
The great estuary of the Canton river, which, opposite or near to the Factories,
assumes the name of Chou-keang, or the Pearl river, is contracted between the forts ol
Chuenpee or Shakok and Tycocktow (Great Rising Head,) into a channel of about
two miles in width. From the former of these points, the coast trends eastward,
embracing the shallows known as Anson's Bay, to the batteries of Anunghoy (Woman's
Shoe,) just three miles from Chuenpee. Above Tycocktow are two rocky islets, South
and North Wantong, between which and Anunghoy, rather less than two miles' dis-
tance, is the celebrated throat of " Tiger's Mouth ;"* and about two miles farther up
the river, is situated Tiger Island, or Ty-hoo-tow. Anunghoy batteries have always been
strongly garrisoned, and, before the last war, mounted one hundred and forty pieces of
ordnance; the batteries of North Wantong, immediately opposite to them, mounted one
hundred and sixty-five. Between the islet of South Wantong and the new fort of
Anunghoy, a boom, consisting of powerful iron chains, partially sustained by wooden
rafts, was raised at sunset. At this fort vessels were required to produce their permits;
and those that happened to arrive in the Bocca after the boom was raised, were under the
necessity of continuing outside until daylight. These forts were undoubtedly constructed
more with a view of terrifying merchantmen, and extorting tribute, than with an expec
tation of obstructing an armed force: and Keshen, in his memorable defence, lays this
fact before his imperial master. Whether, however, the commissioner's statement was
advanced in mitigation of punishment for his faults, or whether he spoke the historic-
truth, the forts of Bocca Tigris have not been able to check the British sailor, for the
passage has been repeatedly forced by our vessels. When Lord Napier, the British
Commissioner-General at Canton, became apprehensive of insult, he ordered the
Andromache and Imogene to pass Bocca Tigris, and ascend the river to Whampoa.
This achievement was performed with little difficulty, the discharge of a few broadside-
having completely silenced the enemy's fire, without any material injury to the works ;
these were spared, to add still further glory to the British arms at no distant period.
In the commencement of the year 1841, our envoy, disgusted by the faithless-
ness or fickleness of Chinese functionaries, directed the resumption of hostilities; and,
in consequence of this determination, Commodore Sir J. G. Bremer was directed to
take and destroy the forts of Anunghoy and Wantong, and force the passage of the
Bogue. With a fleet of twelve sail-of-the-line and four steamers, even a less gallant
officer would have felt little apprehension for the result; but the style in which these
orders were executed, has justly associated the commodore's name with those of our
naval heroes. The forts on North Wantong were cannonaded by the Calliope and
' Bocc;i Tigris, or The Hoo-n n 01 the Bogue.
86 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
Samarang, while a battery of howitzers, established on the South island, a position most
unaccountably neglected by the Chinese, opened their fire simultaneously.* The quick-
ness and precision of English gunners soon overpowered the brave efforts of the enemy ;
in a few minutes they were seen flying from their post, and a landing was effected
without opposition. The scene of inhumanity that followed will always remain a sub-
ject of much regret to our brave officers. In endeavouring to escape from the works,
the Chinese had fallen into the trenches, which were literally filled with them, and in that
helpless condition they implored for mercy. In vain did our generous officers menace,
command, entreat the sepoys to spare the prostrate foe ; either from a settled hatred of
the nation, or ignorance of the language in which the orders were given, they continued
to fire without mercy upon these unresisting and defenceless masses of human beings.
While this dreadful tragedy was being enacted, Sir H. Le Fleming Senhouse had been
equally successful in his attack upon Anunghoy ; and by the united exertions of these
divisions of the expedition, the Bogue forts were captured and destroyed, the charm of
their invincibility dissolved, British superiority in the art of war demonstrated, and the
foundation laid for those concessions by China, which may yet terminate in a sincere
alliance of esteem and friendship between the conquerors and the conquered.
What change will come over the trade of China, by our enjoyment of an asylum at
Hong-kong, it would be difficult to foresee ; but that the dependencies of Canton will
be injured by the opening of other ports, is sufficiently obvious. At Whampoa a num-
ber of chops, or lighters, formerly found employment in conveying the cargoes of large
vessels to Canton ; and there, also, a chop-house, where tolls were exacted, had a per-
manent establishment. But the commerce of Shing-hai, Ning-po, and Amoy, as well
as that of Canton, will now probably adopt Hong-kong as a common entrepot; and, if
unrestricted intercourse with foreigners be permitted, steamers will navigate the passage
above Whampoa with little apprehension, and pass the forts of the Bogue and Macao
with the same indifference as they do the pagodas that distinguish their localities. When
that day shall arrive, the Cantonese must fall back upon their own resources, and be
content with the enjoyment which their beautiful country, genial climate, and fertile
soil afford. Sugar and rice are the staple products of Whampoa island, and of the
tract that bounds the estuary of the Chou-keang. Mr. Abed, who visited the sugar
manufactories here, gives the following account of the primitive machinery employed
in them : — "The simplicity and cheapness of the w : orks were highly characteristic of
Chinese taste and policy. The mill which expresses the liquor from the cane, was
composed of three vertical cylinders, made of a coarse granite with wooden cogs. The
coppers, as boilers are termed in other sugar-growing countries of less primitive pre-
dilections, were made of cast iron, which they have the art of reducing almost to the
texture of common paper, and of welding, when cracked or broken, with entire facility
• This battery was under the direction of Captain (now Colonel) Knowles, of the Royal Artillery, who,
during the heavy fire that was kept up on his position, leaned with his elbow on the sand-bags of his field-work,
directing his men to fire a little higher or lower, as he perceived the shells to take effect. — Commodore Bingham's
Sarrative of the Expedition to China.
.■:;■■ ■ ■
RICE-SELLERS AT TONG-I HANG-POO
and firmness. These were arranged triangularly, and with little apparent regard to
those principles of granulation which are elsewhere adopted. That nothing might
reduce the quantum of manual labour where hands and mouths are so numerous, and
wages so low, the mill was placed below the level of the boilers, and the liquor carried
in nibs from the one to the other. As it attained its consistence in each of these vessels,
instead of being passed through a strainer to the next, it was transferred by hand to
another part of the building, whence, after the process of distillation, it was returned
to its appropriate cauldron."
RICE-SELLERS AT TON G-CHANG-FOO.
Rice to sell ! Who lacks good cheer?
Would you our rice, sir grenadier ?
A bowl were well after parade ;
Come, and enjoy it, in the shade.
See how it smokes — so spiced and sweet ! —
Will you, fair dame, my savoury treat ?
Yon little master likes it well.
Season'd and smoking— Rice to sell ! C. J. C.
Such scenes as this party of rice-eaters presents are frequently witnessed by travellers,
more particularly along the line of the Imperial canal, on which Tong-chang-foo is situated .
The military station rendering a halt for the payment of gabelle necessary, the trackers
seize the opportunity to rest and refresh themselves. A guard of military-police being
paraded, during the settlement of tribute by the task-master or slave-driver, the trackers
seat themselves beneath an immense umbrella supported by a bamboo pillar, and are
supplied by the landlady of this very primitive and very picturesque hospitium, with
bowls, chopsticks, and all other requisites for the occasion. Assembled round an earthen
stove, at which the rice-meal, mixed with vegetables and fried in rancid oil or animal offal,
is dressed, and disengaging themselves from their cumbrous bamboo hats, some also
twisting the pienza, or long queue, round their beads, they raise the howl to the edge of
the lower lip, against which they press it closely, and, with the chopsticks throw in their
food expeditiously, conveniently, and with an astonishing degree of cleanliness. In China,
as well as in Western Europe, the pipe forms a necessary part of the labourer's personal
property; and, from the great length of this instrument amongst Orientals, when
inserted in the pocket a very considerable portion always protrudes. As stations maj
not occur at those intervals of time or space best suited to the tracker's relief, il is his
judicious practice to carry a supply of meal in a pouch suspended at his side, along
with a hard wooden spatula, such as the hostess of the great umbrella is employing,
besides his accustomed chopsticks. On the ground, and close by the figure in the
act of placing the chopsticks in his mouth, lie several Hat hoards with cords pa
88 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
through them ; these are the harness, or gear, which the tracker applies to his breast,
to save it from the effects of too great pressure, in his slavish occupation.
It is very erroneously stated, that owing to the predominance of agricultural propen-
sities, the paucity of pasture and meadow land, and the preference for rice to all other
species of diet, animal food has been necessarily declined ; pigs and sheep being the
only species of quadrupeds slaughtered and eaten. That black cattle are not kept for
the shambles, is solely attributable to the abhorrence of a Buddhist to slaying oxen ;
the antiquity of this religion, therefore, sufficiently accounts for the equally ancient
preference for vegetable diet amongst the followers of Fo. Against the use of pork, on
the other hand, an equally strong prejudice exists amongst the Mohammedan section of
the people ; and the predominance of that faith under the descendants of Kublai Khan
and the Mongol dynasty, which strictly prohibits the use of pork, discouraged the feed-
ing of swine as an article for food or sale. It is to their religious prejudices, therefore,
that the encouragement of vegetable diet, and the adoption of all those alternations
and substitutes for animal food so remarkable in Chinese living, should with propriety
be attributed. Mohammedanism, however, under the Tartar dynasty, has gradually
declined ; toleration has hastened its fall, accompanied, at the same time, by the legis-
lative wisdom of not extending to its followers any especial protection or preference.
Agriculture having obtained a dominion so extensive, and of such very ancient foun-
dation, no animals that require to "range the valley, free," are to be seen in a district
capable of tillage ; and indeed the cultivation of rice has now become a national preju-
dice too deeply rooted to be ever eradicated from the land. Mr. Gutzlaff, the author of
the interesting memoir of the Emperor Kang-he, which accompanies these descriptions,
relates an anecdote in one of his voyages, very happily illustrative of this point. " Rice
being very cheap in Siam, every Chinese sailor provided a bag or two as a present for
his family. In fact, the chief thing they wish and work for is rice; their domestic
accounts are entirely regulated by the quantity of rice consumed ; their meals, according
to the number of bowls of it boiled ; and their exertions, according to the quantity
wanted. Every substitute for this favourite food is considered meagre, and indicative
of the greatest wretchedness. When they cannot obtain a sufficient quantity to satisfy
their appetites, they supply the deficiency with an equal weight of water. Inquiring
whether the Western barbarians eat rice, and finding me slow to give them an answer,
they exclaimed, ' Oh ! the sterile regions of barbarians, which produce not the neces-
saries of life ! Strange that the inhabitants have not long ago died of hunger !'
I endeavoured to show them that we had substitutes for rice which were equal if not
superior to it ; but all to no purpose ; and they still maintain that it is rice only which
can properly sustain the life of a human being."
It was at this busy town that the childish military feat of the lanterns was performed,
which Mr. Barrow relates in his account of the return of the embassy from Yuen-min-
yuen. "As we approached the city of Tong-chang-foo, we were much amused with
a military manoeuvre, which was evidently intended to astonish us.' Under the walls of
the city, about three hundred soldiers were drawn out in a line, which, however, the
BRITISH ENCAMPMENT AT 1RGA0-SHAN. (*'.)
darkness of the night had rendered invisible. But just as we were coming to anchor,
each soldier, at the sound of a pong, produced from under his cloak a splendid lantern,
with which he went through a regular manual exercise."
In the suburbs of the town, cultivation is conducted with particular skilfulness;
and a species of tobacco is grown here, the leaves of which are small, hairy, and viscous,
and the flowers of a greenish vellow passing into a faint rose-colour at the edge of the
petals. Hemp is produced here also, in small quantities; but is more generally used
to mix with tobacco, than in the manufacture of cloth from its fibres.
BRITISH ENCAMPMENT ON IRGAO-SIIAN,
How nature slept o'er yon sequester'd scene,
In knoll, and glassy wave, and woodland green !
Man's self, in kinder than his wonted guise,
There hade the patriarchal village rise.
Now, marshall'd forms of war the hill-top crest,
And soldier's tramp and clarion start its sylvan rest.
C. J. c.
The Chusan Islands, several hundred in number, lie almost due east of Take-tow pro-
montory, in the province of Che-keang, and appear to have once formed a part of the
neighbouring continent. The direction of the prevalent wind, and the strength with which
the tides set in upon this part of the coast, have, in the course of ages, washed away all
alluvial matter, and left only the rocky pillars, now so many pyramidal islands, standing
in the waters. The currents between the islands are at this day so violent, that naviga-
tion is highly dangerous; and the Chusanese alone, who are familiarly acquainted with
them, are able to take advantage of these straits as highways for commerce. Chusan
isles are all of primitive structure, being composed of red and grey granite ; they present
a very unequal surface, the summits often attaining a height of fifteen hundred feet
above sea-level; yet there is not a square mile on any island of the group unsubdued
Chow-shan (Boat-mountain) the largest of the archipelago, and whose name is
shared by the multitude of minor isles that surround it, is fifty miles in circum-
ference, twenty in length, having a maximum breadth of ten, and minimum of
six ; it forms a keen, or district, the seat of government of which is at Ting-hai, and is
subject to the foo, or prefecture, of Ning-po. Approaching from the sea, the pros-
pect is remarkably beautiful : the hills rise steeply and in conical shapes, all decked
in a variety of colours, while deep ravines are observed running far inland, but closed
at the sea-entrance by high embankments, in which tide-gates are inserted. The
90 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
interior prospect of the island is not less pleasing; lofty hills separate, overlook, and
shelter deep fertile vales, where rice, cotton, barley, Indian-corn, sugar-cane, tobacco-
plant, peach and plum-trees, lend their varieties, and the tea-plant, dwarf-oak, arbutus,
their colours, to adorn the lower grounds, the summits everywhere being clothed with
the brightest green. Clumps of luxuriant trees, and picturesque temples, embellish
the conspicuous heights, whose interest is much increased by tombs, with plantations of
fragrant shrubs around them. The introspect of these dark ravines observed on
approaching the island from the sea, discloses alluvial plains of various extent, occupied
by paddy-fields, interspersed with patches of brinjal, maize, and beans. Navigable
canals, intersecting these reclaimed flats, are supplied by the waters that descend from
the mountains, as well as by an influx from the ocean, the latter, however, regulated by
sluices. There are no rivers of any magnitude in the island, but mountain-streams are
numerous, and their waters are gathered with care into reservoirs, which are cautiously
preserved from impurity. At Irgao-shan, where the Twenty-sixth regiment of infantry
were encamped for some time, after the capture of Ting-hai by the British in the late
war, is one of those much-valued pools, surrounded by the various buildings of a farm-
house, which, in China, resemble petty villages ; for, as the married sous never withdraw
from parental government, the buildings that are added, age after age, for their accom-
modation, together with the requisite granaries, fruit-houses, and halls of ancestors, pre-
sent a formidable assemblage. There is yet another purpose to which the out-buildings
of Chinese farms are devoted. Although the population of this circumscribed area
amounts to 200,000 souls, such is the fertility of the soil, that more rice, considerably,
is grown than consumed : from this overplus, sham-shoo is distilled very generally by the
farmers, both for domestic use and exportation ; and many of the minor buildings, that
give importance to the view of the homestead, are nothing more than these rural
The detachment of the Twenty-sixth, which Lieutenant White has introduced into
his sketch, as marching in amongst the farm-buildings, is supposed to be returning to
their encampment on the summit of Irgao-shan ; and, on the slippery bank above them,
a zigzag pathway amongst beds of sweet potatoes may be observed. This footway, broad
enough to admit three persons to walk abreast, like all others that traverse the island, is
paved with large squared blocks of stone, sometimes cut into regular steps ; and along
such narrow causeways even the heaviest burdens are transported from place to place
by men exclusively, wheel-carriages not being in use amongst the Chinese.
Although the habits of the islanders are similar to those of the empire generally,
a peculiarity in performing the sad rites of sepulture, which Lord Jocelyn observed,
most probably does not exist elsewhere. "The natives of this island," writes his lord-
ship, " do not inter their dead as in the southern provinces, but the corpse is placed on
the ground in a wooden coffin, covered with a lid, easily removed, highly polished, round
which the wild flowers and creepers blossom. In most of the houses we entered on the
island, these large boxes were the first objects that met the eye in the entrance-chamber.
In the tenanted graves which curiosity induced us to open, the body appeared dressed
I Wll RE in TING-HAI, CHUSAH
as in life, the pipe and tobacco lav on the breast, and loaves and rice at the unconscious
Irgao-shan, and the scene represented in the accompanying illustration, although no
architectural remains are visible in the vicinity, arc supposed to be identical with Ung-
shan. at the foot of which stood Ung-chow, a city of the third rank, founded about tin-
year 720 of our era, in the reign of Heuen-Tsung, of the Tan;.' dynasty.
C A. P T U II E F T I N G - II A 1, C H U S A N.
Tlie wall- grew weak : and last and hot
Against them pour'd the ceaseless shot.
With unabating fury sent
From battery to battlement.
Chusan is not less distinguished by the beauty of its position and productions, than by
its memorable connection with the history of the late war between England and the
Chinese. Its harbour presents a panorama not exceeded by any analogous prospect in
the world ; and the security from weather, and safety of anchorage, are also perfect.
Its superficial area extends about three miles in length by one in breadth, so that per-
haps not more than one hundred sail of the line could float here conveniently, and the
utmost caution must be used in entering, from the strong currents that prevail every-
where between the islands, and the eddies formed at their meetings. The advantage
of its commercial position was fully estimated by the inhabitants at all periods, tor it is
known that a large and flourishing city of the third rank existed here in the second
century before the Christian era, which, after several changes of name, (the last to
Ting-hai,) was destroyed in the wars between the Tartars and Chinese in the reign of
Shum-che, the first emperor of the Ta-tsing dynasty, but rebuilt by his successor Kang-
he in 1684. Accurate geographers place the present city in latitude 30' 10" north,
and longitude 122° 5' 18" east. The East India company maintained an extensive
factory here from the year 1700 to 1757; and when Lord Macartney visited the island
in 1793, an interpreter who had been attached to that establishment was still living.
The port or dock of Ting-hai, called Chusan harbour, is seated on the water's edge;
the city, of which it forms the advanced work, lying inland rather more than a mile.
One of the creeks, described in speaking of Irgao-shan, here runs up for some miles
between the hills; and across its sea entrance, an embankment two miles in extent, with
tide-gates and sluices, being placed, the whole reclaimed area affords a rich tract
of paddy ground, intersected by navigable canals, besides a well-sheltered site for a
populous city. Ting-hai does not stand upon this marshy land, but on the sloping side
<>2 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
of the Yung-tung valley ; it is surrounded by a brick wall twenty-six feet in height,
sixteen in thickness, and six miles in circuit, with four entrance-gates corresponding
exactly to the cardinal points. On three sides it is protected by a canal or ditch
twenty-five yards broad, the fourth side being covered by a fortified hill. Slight
bridges are thrown over the canal at the four gates, cut into steps like the famous
Rialto of Venice, and from this trifling coincidence, in conjunction with the additional
fact of the city being intersected by canals, travellers, of more ready wit than discerning
judgment, have ventured to compare Ting-hai with the city that is " throned on her
hundred isles." The streets are narrow and paved, having a public sewer along the
middle, from which nuisance, in addition to many other objectionable practices amongst
the Chinese, they are passed by Europeans with feelings not far removed from disgust.
Being the most eastern city in the empire, it has been thought prudent to strengthen it in
proportion against the " barbarian over the sea ; " and with this object three arsenals,
two powder magazines, and other military establishments, have been placed here.
There are also several public institutions, mandarins' residences, a Government pawn-
broking office, numerous theatres, and many Buddhist temples, some of them acknow-
ledged to be the most gorgeous and wealthy in China. Including Chusan harbour,
Ting-hai has a population of 30,000 souls.
Twice, during the protracted hostilities between Great Britain and China, has this
rich and beautiful position fallen before the courage and military skill of the former;
"and the morning of the 5th of July, 1840, was the day fated for Her Majesty's flag to
wave over the most beautiful island appertaining to the Celestial empire, the first
European banner that has floated over the flowery land." A few words, however, will
be sufficient to describe this easy conquest. At half-past two o'clock the Wellesley
fired the first gun, which was answered by a whole line of war junks, the ordnance
along the causeway, and on battery hill ; our vessels immediately poured in their broad-
sides, and in nine minutes Chusan's docks, forts, and buildings were a heap of smoking
ruins. Our troops landed on a deserted beach, amidst a few dead bodies, broken spears,
swords, shields, and matchlocks, and moved cautiously on Ting-hai, before the strong
ramparts of which they sat down for the remainder of that day. On the following morn-
ing scaling-ladders were placed against the walls, orders to mount issued, and, " in a few
minutes," this great city was in the possession of the invaders. This may be deemed an
inglorious triumph, and military men may regret that the British had not met an enemy
worthy of their prowess ; but every feeling heart must unite in rejoicing at that insignifi-
cance of resistance which occasioned the less loss of life. On the first of October in the
following year, our fleet again returned to Chusan, to chastise the wretched inhabitants of
that island for the duplicity and falsehood of their government. Headed by the gallant
Keo, and fully expecting an attack, the Chinese offered a stout resistance; but the hero
and his brave staff were slain, tremendous havoc made amongst his followers, and the
tragic scene that now presented itself far exceeded the desolation that attended the first
capture of Ting-hai. The total inequality between the contending parties, even
when Keo, a man of resolution and ability, gave an example worthy of the highest
DINNER PARTY AT \ MAN DAKIn's HOUSE. !••'}
honour to his soldiers, may be judged of from the ratio of killed and wounded. On one
3ide numbers fell; while on the other, the British, "the loss amounted to two killed and
DINNER PARTY AT A MANDARIN'S HOUSE.
Of all appeals — no
Method's more sure at moments to take hold
Of the best feelings of mankind, which grow
More tender, as we every day behold,
Than that all softening, overpowering knell,
The tocsin of the soul — the dinner bell.
Mandarin's houses are generally more like cabinets of interesting works of art than
the frequented homes of stirring and prudent men, — men who have raised themselves
to a position of public respect by their intellectual superiority, and who are supposed
to retain that rank by their conspicuous virtues. Certainly the vanity displayed in
their palaces is much at variance with those high qualities for which alone they are
believed to be promoted. The furniture of the dinner parlour, as well as of all the
other apartments in a mandarin's mansion, is of a costly and beautiful description, and
the walls and ceiling are always decorated with fretwork, carved designs in hard woods,
and brilliantly coloured paper-hangings. On occasions of conviviality, the table, a
broad slab supported by a richly carved frame, is spread with various ornaments : china
jars in which flowers and fragrant perfumes are placed, generally stand on plateaux of
glass, porcelain, or silver, in the centre, a space being reserved all round for the bowls
of the respective guests. Chairs, articles so little used in Asia, form part of the
furniture of every house, and in those of men of rank are adorned with embroidered
silk and velvet cushions and draperies. The host assumes his place at the head of the
table, his chair being raised a little higher than those of his guests, who take their
seats on either side, as amongst the civilized nations of Europe.
Such entertainments are encumbered with ceremony ; the master of the feast drinks
to his company, and they to him in turn ; he even eats to them, and his every movement
is noticed, respected, and has influence upon the immediate part which each visitor
performs. Refusal of an invitation is unpardonable unless in case of sickness, or the
demands of public duty, and under such circumstances the absentee's portion is sent
to his house with a pomp that is utterly ludicrous. Amongst the Romans there was
a custom something like to this, — each guest brought a napkin in his pocket to the
banquet, into which he put the fragments of his share of the feast, and sent them home
by his attending slave. A dinner in China consists of a number of made dishes, not
94 CHINA ILLUSTRATED.
placed at once upon the table, but served up in succession, in porcelain bowls carried in
on trays. The ceremony commences by the host standing up and pledging his friends,
which they as courteously return. Custards and preserved fruits are then served by a
number of attendants ; after follow, in several courses, soups either of mare's milk and
blood, or vermicelli, or of birds' nests, which is both insipid and gelatinous, or a much
superior kind, consisting of an extract of beef seasoned with soy ; the next course may
be supposed to include basins of stewed sharks' fins, birds' nests, deer sinews, and other
dishes believed to be peculiarly nutritious; and this is often succeeded by different kinds
of meat minced into small pieces and floating in gravy ; amongst the latter varieties are
included fowls split open and grilled, others stewed, fowls' livers floating in oil, eggs
with their embryo chickens, and puppies' flesh. The pastry, which is supplied in
abundance, is made from buckwheat, is uncommonly light, and white as snow. Fruits
are always iced ; and this luxury, in the vicinity of Peking, is within the reach of the
poorest mechanic. The wine is of a light kind, having the flavour of sherry ; it is made
from rice, and is served in an earthen kettle, whence it is poured, by a servant bending
on one knee, into little porcelain cups, and drank warm. Porcelain spoons are also in
use, and fouv-pronged silver forks were laid at those banquets to which our envoys and
officers have' occasionally been invited, but chopsticks are the prevailing, popular
instruments for the transport of every Chinaman's food, both solid and liquid, from his
saucer to his palate.
During the banquet, a deputy from a company of comedians placed at one end of
the apartment, presents a catalogue of those dramatic pieces which his associates are pre-
pared to exhibit; but, no matter which may be selected, the din, clatter, jingle, and
sibilous noise that is kept up during the performance, would render their early retirement
an object most anxiously desired by a foreigner. The intellectual part of the exhibi-
tion is generally succeeded by tumbling, jumping, vaulting, and various feats of jug-
gling, strength, and activity ; in all which the actors exhibit powers very superior to their
dramatic efforts, and such as would undoubtedly excite applause in any assembly where
such spectacles are admitted.
HOI SI OF A CHINESE MERCHANT, M IR CANTON.
HOUSE OF A CHINESE MERCHANT, NEAB CANTON.
In the midst a fountain
Playeth day and night
Each small wave a mirror
For the changing light.
L. E L.
A Chinese villa is an assemblage of buildings of various dimensions and designs,
brought together without any apparent method, but displaying a fruitful imagination
and an exhaustless fancy. The exterior parts are of that gloomy mural character, which
prevails in all those countries where the softer sex are held in a mild but degrading
imprisonment, by both pai'ents and husbands; but within, the aspect at least, breathes
pleasure and tranquillity. Although no regular order of art is discoverable in Chin
architecture, an analysis of its parts and comparison of examples will lead immediately
to the detection of much system, and explain the necessity for what may appear super-
fluous. Having no idea of balancing materials according to those mathematical principles
on which our great stone arches and sublime cathedrals are constructed, and con-
tinuing most preposterously to lay the roofing-beams in a position at right angles to that
adopted by our builders, they do not venture to form a roof of great span or dimen-
sions. Since then he cannot have a broad roof, the Chinaman is content with a bo
in proportion ; and if he possesses wealth enough to maintain a large establishment, instead
of one great mansion, he causes many small buildings to be erected within the space
enclosed for the seclusion and enjoyment of his family. The necessary narrowness also
of their roofs leaves no alternative, when a spacious apartment is required, hut the intro-
duction of pillars, hence the endless repetition of this feature in their houses. A veranda
is sustained by pillars, behind which rises the main building, generally one story in
height; but, when the grounds are so spacious that a second or third story may he raised,
without affording the females of the family an opportunity of seeing or being seen, the
addition is oft-times made. In the southern provinces, where the original of the accom-
panying view exists, the veranda is requisite for shade: the front of each apartment is
open, save the intervention of a lattice-work gilt and brightly painted : and even in
the upper rooms, the door is the only medium of light and air. The pillars which
sustain the roof of every apartment are of pine wood, sometime* carved, more frequently
plain but painted, and the rafters are covered with glazed tiles, of a concave form, and
laid like roofing tiles in England; the bright blue colour of the bricks in the walls is
relieved by scrolling and seaming of white paint, with an excellent effect. Whether
Europeans view the Chinese roof as a beauty or deformity, it is upon this part of the
building the architect expends his best abilities. The gables are grotesquely adorned
96 HOUSE OF A CHINESE MERCHANT, NEAR CANTON.
with scroll-work and gilded dragons ; nor is his license limited, unless by the variety of
patterns which the flowers of the field, the birds of the air, and the beasts of the forest
include. But the genius of the artist must extend beyond mere architectural decoration ;
he must also be able to introduce within the villa an artificial lake, adorn its banks with
rock-work and pleasure-grounds, and associate the wildest productions of untamed nature
with the most gorgeous creations of art. Bridges, canals, fountains, grottos, rocks worn
or wrought into the most extravagant forms, and either insulated in the water or starting
from the flower-beds, are the usual objects with which villa pleasure-grounds are
decorated ; and the fancy that is displayed in their disposition, to foreigners must
necessarily appear most admirable, and is amazingly diflicult of successful imitation. "For
rural retreats," writes Mr. Lay, " I should delight to see the Chinese style adopted ;
since, with our crystal canals and our noble plantations, we should have a cluster of
abodes that would appear as if they had been fitted up for wood-nymphs, and beings of
a different day. But, a builder, in order to be qualified for such a work, must have
travelled in China, and, by an instinctive enthusiasm, have imbibed Chinese feeling,
otherwise he would not catch that freedom and that unbounded playfulness so conspi-
cuous in all their edifices of any cost or extent."
END OF VOL. I.
LONDON: II. USHER, SON, AND CO.. PRINTERS.
D 000 006 252
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